Focus scoops up Allen pic

U specialty arm buys helmer's pic in multiterritory deal

NEW YORK — Focus Features has acquired Woody Allen’s latest pic, “Scoop,” in a multiterritory pact.

The Universal specialty arm plans an aggressive effort to get the film into theaters domestically this summer. Unit also takes rights in Australia and New Zealand.

Allen, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson and Ian McShane star in the story of a student journalist visiting London who happens upon the scoop of a lifetime. She also finds the possibility of love with a Brit aristocrat.

Allen, whose “Match Point” was acquired out of Cannes last year by DreamWorks, will follow “Scoop” with yet another Brit-set pic this summer (Daily Variety, April 18).

“Scoop” was produced by Letty Aronson and Gareth Wiley. Stephen Tenenbaum exec produced, with Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe co-exec producing. Nicky Kentish Barnes and Helen Robin were co-producers on the pic, which Ingenious Films, BBC Films and the Bank of Ireland backed financially.

U’s Focus has been active of late, after former co-head David Linde was upped to co-chairman of the studio, leaving the reins solely to James Schamus.

Schamus unveiled the Allen deal Thursday. He also recently closed pacts to bring Dean Koontz’s upcoming novel “The Husband” into the Focus fold and acquired Patricia Foulkrod’s Iraq docu “The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends.”

Johansson previously starred in Focus’ breakout “Lost in Translation.”

U banner has Rian Johnson’s “Brick” and Gaby Dellal’s “On a Clear Day” in release.