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IM Global market slate climbs to nine

Nicole Kidman in talks to star in company's 'Spectre'

In advance of what looks set to be a strong year for indies at the Cannes Film Festival market, Stuart Ford’s IM Global announced a slate of nine pics it will shop to buyers.

Through its genre label Octane, the company is selling four pics each budgeted under $10 million, including supernatural thriller “Spectre,” directed by “Insidious” helmer James Wan.

Nicole Kidman is in talks to star in the pic, which is produced by Rick Schwartz’s Overnight Prods. and Kidman’s Blossom Films.

Other Octane pics are an untitled supernatural thriller from Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”), Rob Zombie’s horror “Lords of Salem” and “The Inbetweeners,” a raunchy comedy based on the Brit TV show.

More mainstream fare comes from IM Global’s Opus label, including Sam Worthington starrer “The Last Days of American Crime,” a futuristic thriller helmed by F. Gary Gray (“Law Abiding Citizen,” “The Italian Job”) and produced by Radical Studios and Full Clip Prods.

Following a successful AFM in November, which saw IM Global sell the hottest project at the market in a multi-territory deal to Fox — the $65 million “Walking With Dinosaurs” — Ford’s outfit is launching sales on another pic of that ilk, “Enchanted Kingdom.” The $25 million African 3-D project involves BBC Earth, Evergreen and Reliance.

And the outfit is selling James McAvoy and Mark Strong starrer “Welcome to the Punch,” helmed by Eran Creevy. Pic is produced through Automatik, IM Global’s production joint venture with Alliance Pictures. Alliance has rights for Canada, Spain and Blighty.

Through its Anthem label, which targets non- English-language pics, it’s selling “Don 2,” starring Bollywood’s Shah Rukh Khan, and “The Bodyguard,” a romantic actioner from Indian helmer Siddique.

“There’s generally more of an air of caution now,” said Ford about the current indie climate. “You can see that in response to the fact that the international market isn’t quite the ATM it once was.”

He said two types of films are selling well — mid-budget action pics and low-budget genre pics, and IM Global’s Cannes slate reflects that trend.

“It’s harder than ever for eclectic films to pre-sell,” Ford said. “The film range from $40 million to $50 million perhaps represents where the indie market’s sweet spot is.”

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