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Participant in ‘Fast’ lane

Participant orders U.S. rights to Linklater pic

Jeff Skoll’s Participant Prods. has acquired North American rights and taken an equity stake in the feature adaptation of Eric Schlosser’s bestselling book “Fast Food Nation.”

Participant will partner with a distrib for the pic’s theatrical release.

Richard Linklater is directing for Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Co. Linklater adapted the script with Schlosser. Production of the pic, a disparaging examination of the fast-food industry and the culture it creates, begins this fall.

HanWay Films handles international sales on the film, which is produced by Thomas and Malcolm McLaren.

Linklater is currently in post-production on two films, “The Bad News Bears” and “A Scanner Darkly.”

HanWay Films, headed by Tim Haslam, is in Cannes this year with Woody Allen’s “Match Point” and Wim Wenders’ “Don’t Come Knocking.” They are also representing the new Saul Zaentz/Milos Forman project “Goya’s Ghosts.”

With Warner Bros. Pictures, Participant is producing “Syriana,” written and directed by Stephen Gaghan and starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, and the untitled Niki Caro project directed by Caro and starring Charlize Theron. Participant is also producing “Good Night. And Good Luck,” directed by and starring Clooney.