Negotiated with StudioCanal, the deal marks eOne’s first US theatrical acquisition since it expanded into North American distribution.

Entertainment One has acquired US distribution rights to Special Forces from StudioCanal, with plans for a Spring 2012 release.

It marks eOne’s first theatrical acquisition since the company expanded its North American operations in August this year. The group plans to release 12-15 films theatrically in the US annually.

Diane Kruger and Djimon Hounsou star in the $25m film, which is directed by French film-maker Stephane Rybojad and set in Afghanistan. It tells the story of a French journalist, kidnapped by the Taliban. StudioCanal already secured a raft of worldwide sales on the film at Cannes.

“StudioCanal and eOne have been longtime partners and we’re very pleased to extend our successful relationship into the US theatrical market with this standout film,” said David Reckziegel, president, eOne Films North America.

“We are delighted to be partnering again with our close friends at eOne and to be contributing to their exciting launch into US theatrical distribution. It makes so much sense for eOne to enter the US market right now and we hope Special Forces will prove them right. We wish David and his team great success in their new venture,” said Harold Van Lier, EVP International Sales at StudioCanal.