Magnolia Pictures has picked up North American rights toPierre Morel's futuristic crime thriller District 13 (Banlieue 13), which attracted close to 1 million admissions in its native France.The film is co-written and produced by Luc Besson.

Magnolia plans aspring 2006 release for the story, set in the Paris ghettos around 2010 as anundercover detective and former gangster team up to thwart a kingpin's maniacalscheme to detonate a neutron bomb.

Cyril Raffaelliand David Belle star in the picture, which had its international premiere atToronto.

"Luc Besson andPierre Morel have mounted an absolutely breathtaking thrill ride and starsDavid Belle and Cyril Raffaelli pull of some of the most amazing stunts I'veever seen," Magnolia chief Eamonn Bowles said.

Magnolia's headof acquisitions Tom Quinn, head of business and legal affairs Jason Janego andBowles negotiated the deal with EuropaCorp's head of international GregoireMelin.

The twocompanies last teamed up on the North American release of Prachya Pinkaew's OngBak: The Thai Warrior.