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Though he has won much acclaim—including a Cesar for Best Director—in his own country, actor/writer-director Guillaume Canet has yet to breakthrough Stateside. That could change with some surprising news out Cannes. Variety reports Lionsgate has snagged the U.S. distribution rights to the helmer's first English-language effort Blood Ties just ahead of its world premiere at the prestigious festival. Reportedly, the corporation paid more than $2 million for the right to distribute the crime drama domestically. Considering this is the highest price paid for US distribution rights so far at this year's festivities, it suggests Lionsgate has high hopes for Blood Ties' commercial appeal.
Based on the novel by Bruno and Michel Papet, Blood Ties centers on two brothers, Chris and Frank Pierzynski. Living in 1970s Brooklyn, the pair take very different paths in life. Chris becomes a cop, while Frank falls into a life of crime. But as the NYPD puts pressure on organized crime, these estranged siblings are forced to face off.
Clive Owen and Billy Crudup (pictured above) front the film as the brawling brothers; James Caan, The Dark Knight Rises' Marion Cotillard, The Wire's Domenick Lombardozzi, Star Trek Into Darkness' Zoe Saldana, The Conjuring's Lili Taylor, and Jupiter Ascending's Mila Kunis co-star.
It's premise sounds promising, and Canet's celebrated 2006 crime drama Tell No One suggests he's well suited for the material. But the most obvious draw here is a cast stacked with attractive stars with international appeal. Basically, buying this one seems like a no-brainer.
Blood Ties will debut out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival on May 28th. It's unknown at this time where Lionsgate is planning to place the crime drama in their release schedule.