Fox Searchlight has picked up North American rights to RichardLinklater's Fast Food Nation, which recently completed principal photography in Mexico, Texasand Colorado.

Based on Eric Schlosser's food industry expose of the same name, FastFood Nation is acharacter study of the lives behind the stories in the book.

Linklater met Schlosser fouryears ago and out of their discussions arose the idea of a series of storiesabout "the lives behind the facts and figures." "I'm more interested in fictionthan non-fiction," said Linklater in a statement. "You get to the point throughhuman storytelling."

The ensemble cast includes Patricia Arquette, Bobby Cannavale,Luis Guzman, Ethan Hawke, Ashley Johnson, Greg Kinnear, Kris Kristofferson,Avril Lavigne, Esai Morales, Catalina Sandina Moreno, Lou Taylor Pucci, AnaClaudia Talancon and Wilmer Valderrama.

The film is produced by Jeremy Thomas' Recorded Picture Company(RPC) and was financed by RPC sister company HanWay Films, ParticipantProductions and the BBC.

Fox Searchlight will release in North American theatres in 2006.Hanway is handling international sales.

Thomas and Malcolm McLarenproduced the picture, while Participant founder Jeff Skoll served as executiveproducer.

Participantoriginally held domestic rights after acquiring them during the Cannes FilmFestival this year. The film joins Syriana, Good Night, And Good Luck and North Country as a socially relevant film financed byParticipant.