Cannes: Lionsgate Nabs U.S. Rights to Clive Owen Crime Drama

Mila Kunis, Zoé Saldana, and Marion Cottilard co-star

Lionsgate nabbed  U.S. distribution rights to the crime drama "Blood Ties" from Worldview Entertainment, the studio said Wednesday from the Cannes Film Festival. 

The film premiered at the French Riviera gathering this week and features Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Mila Kunis, Zoé Saldana, and Marion Cottilard.

Lionsgate said it plans to release the picture through its sister company, Roadside Attractions. "Blood Ties" is a remake of the French film "Les Liens du sang," yet unspools in a distinctly American setting — New York City in the height (or depth) of its 1970s urban dissolution. 

The crime drama finds a middle-aged crook struggling to readjust to society after he is released from prison, where he was being punished for his role in a gangland murder. There's a fractured family dynamic at play, because the ex-convict's younger brother is a cop with a bright future on the force. The film explores the twin push and pull of family and criminality.

Reviews have been mixed, with Variety's Scott Foundas labeling it a "dramatically undernourished saga." Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman singled Owen's performance out for praise, calling it "mesmerizing."

Guillaume Canet ("Tell No One") directed from a screenplay he wrote with director James Gray ("We Own the Night").

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. CAA brokered the deal on behalf of Worldview Entertainment and Lionsgate was represented by Jason Constantine, the studio's president of acquisitions and co-productions, with Eda Kowan, SVP of acquisitions, and Wendy Jaffe, EVP of business and legal affairs.