LA-based production powerhouse Valhalla Motion Pictures has acquired English-language remake rights to the Quebecois street racing action hit Nitro.

The film, produced by Pierre Even of Montreal-based Cirrus Communications and directed by Alain Desrochers, earned $1.2m on its opening weekend in Quebec in 2007, besting Live Free Or Die Hard and Ratatouille.

Valhalla's Gale Anne Hurd has a long hit-making track record stretching back more than 20 years, with credits including The Terminator, The Incredible Hulk and Aliens.

Speaking to Screen International, Even, the producer behind Quebecois smash C.R.A.Z.Y., said the deal was brokered on Cirrus' behalf through Amotz Zakai of LA-based producers rep Echo Lake Entertainment. Under the terms of the deal, Valhalla has 12 months to source the financing needed for a green-light.

Even said he and the production team had originally considered making Nitro in English but switched to French because of the challenge bringing a French-language title into the local action film market. 'We always knew the story was strong enough to travel outside Quebec,' said Even. 'A deal with Gale Ann Hurd is a definite affirmation.'

Set in the high-octane street racing demi-monde of Montreal, the original $7m film tells the story of an ex-racer who has 48 hours to find - and deliver at very high speed -- his wife a new heart. The original film had a budget of $7m. Presumably the budget of the remake will be much more.