September 17, 2009 / 5:59 AM / 9 years ago

Sony Pictures takes side of "Defendor"

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group is in final negotiations to acquire the Woody Harrelson-starring film “Defendor,” which received its world premiere this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Actor Woody Harrelson poses during a photocall to promote the movie 'The Messenger' at the 59th Berlinale film festival in Berlin, February 9, 2009. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Peter Stebbings’ movie stars Harrelson as a man who is under the delusion that he is a superhero and embarks on a series of adventures to protect a crime-beset city. Kat Dennings and Sandra Oh also star.

The acquisition marks the first buy of the festival for Sony Pictures Worldwide, which is set to buy all worldwide rights to the film except Canada, where the movie is being released by Alliance.

The deal is the third significant U.S. pickup of the fest, after the Weinstein Co.’s purchase of Tom Ford’s period drama “A Single Man” and IFC’s acquisition of Nicolas Winding Refn’s action-adventure “Valhalla Rising.”

The Israeli battlefield film “Lebanon,” which won the top prize at the recent Venice Film Festival, remains in play, with an asking price in the low- to mid-six figures being considered by a number of independent distributors.

Harrelson has a number of movies coming out in the fall, including the comedy-horror “Zombieland” and military drama “The Messenger.”

Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters

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