Lion marshalls ‘Brave’

MGM picks up distrib'n rights to Iraq war pic

CANNES — MGM has acquired distribution rights to the Irwin Winkler-helmed “Home of the Brave” from Nu Image/Millennium Films.

Emmett/Furla Films is producing the film, which will receive a platform release this fall. MGM is handling theatrical, homevideo and TV distribution.

“Home of the Brave” stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel and rapper 50 Cent as U.S. soldiers adjusting to life back home after enduring the physical and emotional toll of war in Iraq.

Mark Friedman wrote the script based on a story by Friedman and Winkler. Rob Cowan, Winkler, George Furla and Avi Lerner are producing.

News comes as MGM has been beefing up staff in its evolution into a full distribution and marketing company under the leadership of chairman-CEO Harry Sloan and chief operating officer Rick Sands.

Company will finalize its $150 million JPMorgan-backed P&A fund on June 10 and recently hired Perry Stahman as prexy of theatrical marketing. Earlier in the year, Clark Woods was hired to head distribution.

In its new incarnation, MGM plans 22-25 wide releases annually. Studio’s first release was the Weinstein Co.’s “Lucky Number Slevin,” to be followed by another Weinstein pic, “Clerks 2.”

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