Cecchi Gori film has acquired Italian rights to Michael Mann's Ali from Initial Entertainment Group (IEG), marking a return to major rights buying for the company after a couple of years of retrenchment.

The deal was finalised here between Cecchi Gori USA president Gianni Nunnari and IEG CEO Graham King. Cecchi Gori had also handled two previous Mann pictures - Last Of The Mohicans through an output deal with Morgan Creek and Heat through a deal with New Regency.

IEG has completed deals on Ali, which stars Will Smith, with Shochiku in Japan, Manga in Spain, Entertainment in the UK and BAC in France. Columbia Pictures has domestic rights on the film.