FilmDistrict continues to assemble its inaugural slate and has acquired all US rights at AFM to EuropaCorp’s upcoming sci-fi action title Lockout to star Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace.

James Mather and Stephen St Leger will commence shooting in January in France from a script they co-wrote with Luc Besson, who is also producing. FilmDistrict CEO and co-founder Peter Schlessel is eyeing a first quarter 2012 release and negotiated the deal with EuropaCorp co-founder Pierre-Ange Le Pogam.

Lockout centres on a wrongly convicted government agent whose sole chance of freedom lies in rescuing the President’s daughter from a deep space prison riot. Peter Stormare and Tom Hollander also star.

“EuropaCorp is one of the most dynamic production companies with a great track record of delivering high-octane product,” Schlessel said. They make bold commercial movies which fit perfectly with FilmDistrict’s mandate to release quality films in wide distribution.”

“Luc and I, and everyone at EuropaCorp are thrilled there is a new and exciting distribution company in the US. We have great respect for Peter and the team, and this deal is about friendship and creativity,” Le Pogam said. “We are proud and excited to be a part of this new adventure, and we plan to deliver a unique film. We are looking forward to working with Peter, Bob and everyone at FilmDistrict. It will be fun.”

“Luc and Pierre-Ange are creating a highly entertaining sci-fi film with classic action sequences, a gripping story and a great cast that audiences will love,” FilmDistrict president of theatrical distribution Bob Berney added.

In the last week FilmDistrict has acquired Nicolas Winding Refn’s thriller Drive that stars Ryan Gosling and is shooting in the Los Angeles area, as well as Sean McNamara’s true-life surfing drama Soul Surfer.