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Lionsgate to distribute Bush bio-pic 'W'

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Actor Josh Brolin attends the 60th annual Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles on January 26, 2008.(UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/879eaf367589cb0dac406d131b8c689e/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Actor Josh Brolin attends the 60th annual Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles on January 26, 2008.(UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen) | License Photo

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 9 (UPI) -- Lionsgate announced Friday that it has acquired the distribution rights to "W," Oliver Stone's upcoming film about U.S. President George W. Bush.

Lionsgate said it now holds the rights to the bio-pic in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

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Josh Brolin plays the title role in the movie, which is to be directed by Stone and co-star Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn and Ioan Gruffud.

The movie, which is to begin production Monday in Louisiana, is set for release in U.S. theaters Oct. 17.

"It's an honor to be in business with Oliver Stone, a brilliant and consistently adventurous filmmaker," Lionsgate President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg said in a statement. "With 'W,' he again demonstrates his creative vitality and genius for speaking to our times."

"The impact of George W. Bush's presidency will be felt for many years to come. Despite a meteoric, almost illogical rise to power, and a tremendous influence on the world, we don't really know much about Mr. Bush beyond the controlled images we've been allowed to see on TV," Stone added. "This movie's taking a bold stab at looking behind that curtain."

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