Spanish-Italian media groupDeAPlaneta is flexing its buying muscle with new acquisitions for Spainincluding Summit Entertainment's Michael Clayton and Harsh Times.

Michael Clayton, which marks Tony Gilroy's directorial debut, willstar George Clooney as a fixer in a law company. Harsh Times stars Christian Bale and Eva Longoria in a SouthCentral Los Angeles-set story of a group of friends.

The films typify the kindof high-profile commercial product DeAPlaneta's new executive president AlvaroZapata, former vice president of BVI for Spain and Portugal, seeks in order tofill out his planned annual slate of 15 to 20 releases.

"We are the only distributor in Spain that has all windows ofexploitation covered, including television," Zapata says of the competitiveadvantage of DeA Planeta, the joint venture of Spain's Grupo Planeta andItaly's DeAgostini and a sister company to Spain's Antena 3 Television.

"This also provides a guarantee for the producer," he adds."There is clearly a niche in the Spanish market: at the AFM Zapata says heintended to acquire two or three titles but came home with nine. DeA Planeta'sdirector of acquisitions is Yolanda del Val.

Other recent acquisitionsslated for a late 2005 or 2006 release include Capitol's Mistress Of Spices,Coming Out and One For The Ages from Syndicate, Fortissimo's The Eye Infinity, Wild Bunch's Outlander, and An American Haunting and Lucy In The Sky from The Little Film Company.