ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Starz Entertainment has acquired the exclusive rights to five films from Indie Producer Bob Yari, including the critically acclaimed mystery thriller and potential Oscar(R) contender The Illusionist starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel. The films will be shown on the Starz linear channels as well as Starz On Demand and Vongo, Starz Entertainment's video download application and service. The films will air in 2007/2008.
Other films in the exclusive deal include Haven, starring Orlando Bloom and Bill Paxton; Shortcut to Happiness, starring Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Love Hewitt; Winter Passing, starring Ed Harris, Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel; and Find Me Guilty starring Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage and Annabella Sciorra. The deal was brokered by Nancy Silverstone, vice president of program acquisitions for Starz Entertainment.
"Bob Yari did an extraordinary job assembling these films with strong casts," said Silverstone. "We hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with Bob, and we hope to acquire more interesting and acclaimed films to show on our diverse platforms."
In The Illusionist, Edward Norton plays a controversial turn-of-the- century Viennese magician who's involved in a love triangle with an upper class young woman (Jessica Biel) and Crown Prince (Rufus Sewell). Paul Giamatti plays the chief inspector who tries to uncover the magician's secrets.
Set in the Cayman Islands, Haven intertwines stories of corrupt businessmen (Bill Paxton and Stephen Dillane) fleeing the feds into tax havens and forbidden romance (Zoe Saldana and Orlando Bloom, who executive produced the film).
Alec Baldwin co-stars with Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the fantasy Shortcut to Happiness, in which a down-on-his-luck New York writer (Baldwin) sells his soul to the devil (Love Hewitt) in exchange for fame and fortune. Hopkins plays the head of the "Big Apple's" most powerful publishing firm.
In Winter Passing, a sullen New York actress (Zooey Deschanel) returns home to visit her washed up novelist father (Ed Harris) in Michigan. She's been offered a large sum of money by a book editor (Amy Madigan) to get the love letters shared between the actresses' late novelist mother and her dad. Will Ferrell plays against type as a shy man who handles Harris' domestic matters.
Find Me Guilty takes on the true story of Jack DiNorscio (Vin Diesel), a mobster who, rather than rat on his family and associates, defends himself in court. The trial turned out to be the longest Mafia trial in United States history.
Founded in 2002, The Yari Film Group has established itself as one of the most successful independent film companies in Hollywood, with over 20 films produced over the last three years. Casting top-tier talent in compelling projects with consumer appeal, the company is dedicated to ensuring creative freedom for all of its filmmakers. The company's credits include Oscar 2006 Best Picture Winner Crash, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, The Matador, Thumbsucker, Hostage, Love Song for Bobby Long and Prime starring Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman.
In it's new releasing venture, Yari Film Group has released Winter Passing, starring Ed Harris, Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in February of 2006; Find Me Guilty, a dramatic comedy starring Vin Diesel in March of 2006; The Illusionist, starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel and Haven, starring Orlando Bloom leading an all star ensemble cast including Zoe Saldana, Bill Paxton, and Joy Bryant. Upcoming releases include First Snow, starring Guy Pearce and Piper Perabo; Even Money, with an ensemble cast including Danny DeVito, Kim Basinger, Kelsey Grammer, Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker and Tim Roth; Gray Matters, starring Heather Graham, Tom Cavanagh and Bridget Moynahan. The company also finished production on The Hoax, a drama starring Richard Gere, Alfred Molina and Marcia Gay Harden and The Painted Veil, starring Edward Norton and Naomi Watts. The company recently wrapped production on Kickin It Old Skool, starring Jamie Kennedy; Resurrecting the Champ, starring Samuel Jackson, Josh Hartnett and Alan Alda and Addicted, starring Sarah Michelle Geller. Yari Film Group is currently in production on The Accidental Husband, a romantic comedy starring Uma Thurman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Colin Firth in New York.
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie service provider operating in the United States. It offers 16 movie channels including the flagship Starz(R) and Encore(R) brands with approximately 14.9 million and 26.6 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs more than 1,000 movies per month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HD, Starz On Demand and Vongo(SM). Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation that is attributed to Liberty Capital Group.
Source: Starz Entertainment, LLC
Web site: http://www.starz.com/