First Look Studios has acquired US rights to John Woo and Terence Chang-produced Blood Brothers, which is being sold by Fortissimo Films.

The $10m gangster noir closed this year's Venice Film Festival and features a top Asian cast including Daniel Wu, Chang Chen, Liu Ye and Shu Qi. Directed by Woo protege and first-time director Alexi Tan, the Chinese-language production also screened in official selection at this year's Toronto and Pusan.

The US deal was negotiated by Fortissimo co-chairman Michael J. Werner and senior vice president, sales and acquisitions, Winnie Lau and First Look executive vice president, acquisitions, Gary Hirsch.

Set in 1930s Shanghai, Blood Brothers tells the story of three young men who leave their village in search of a better life and get sucked into the city's criminal underworld.

'Blood Brothers reminds me of such classic gangster films as Once Upon A Time In America. It evokes an era in China few Americans have seen,' said First Look's Hirsch.

'Gary and the entire First Look team showed us their passion and dedication that convinced us and our producers to put Blood Brothers in their capable hands,' said Werner. 'With the Beijing Olympics coming and the enhanced awareness around Chinese cinema that will follow, we are looking forward to a strong success for the film in the US.'

Fortissimo originally acquired worldwide sales rights from the film's producers - Woo and Chang's Lion Rock Productions and Taiwan 's CMC Entertainment.