AFM: FilmDistrict’s ‘Drive’ Pick-Up Leads Busy First Day of Acquisitions

Film adaptation of James Sallis’ thriller stars Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gossling and will be released next year by Peter Schlessel and Bob Berney’s distribution company

FilmDistrict has acquired "Drive," the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed fim adaptation of James Sallis' suspense-themed novel.

The pickup highlighted a busy first-day of purchases at the American Film Market in Santa Monica.

Drive stars Ryan Gossling as a Hollywood stuntman who finds himself on the run from gangsters after the getaway-driver side gig he takes on goes bad.

The film, which is budgeted at under $30 million and currently in production in Los Angeles, co-stars Bryan Cranston, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Albert Brooks and "Mad Men's" Christina Hendricks. 

Gary Michael Walters and DAvid Lancaster's Bold Films financed the project.

FilmDistrict plans to release the movie sometime in the third quarter of 2011.

Among other AFM deals:

* Sierra Pictures announced the acquisition of "Rampart," a crime thriller starring Woody Harrelson. The company also picked up comedy "Darling Companion," which was written by Lawrence and Meg Kasdan, and stars Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton, Richard Jenkins and Sam Shepard.

* Los Angeles-based film production, financing and foreign-sales company Unified Pictures has entered into a three-movie deal with Vancouver-headquartered production-finance group Bron Studios.