Lions Gate Films has bought all North American rights to The Hard Word, the Australian crime drama produced by Al Clark and executive produced and sold by UK-based Alibi Films. Guy Pearce and Rachel Griffiths star in the film which will be released in Australia by Roadshow Film Distributors on May 30.

The movie, written and directed by Scott Roberts, follows the exploits of three bank-robbing brothers as they plot the biggest and final job of their careers. Damien Richardson and Joel Edgerton co-star as Pearce's two brothers, with Griffiths playing Pearce's wife.

Pearce has achieved considerable recognition in the North American market as the star of Memento, The Count Of Monte Cristo and The Time Machine, while Griffiths is a Golden Globe winner for her role on HBO's hit series Six Feet Under and an Oscar-nominated movie star of The Rookie, My Best Friend's Wedding and Hilary And Jackie.

The deal for the film was concluded by Peter Block, president of home entertainment and acquisitions at Lions Gate Films, and Jason Constantine, vice president of acquisitions, with Alibi's Hilary Davis and Roger Holmes. Davis was executive producer of the film along with former Alibi executive Gareth Jones. Lions Gate Films Releasing president Tom Ortenberg said that Lions Gate plans to release the film later this year.

The film is produced by Wildheart Films and financed by the Australian Film Finance Corporation and Royal Bank Of Scotland. It joins a busy slate at Lions Gate for the rest of the year including Nicole Holofcener's Lovely & Amazing, Roger Avary's The Rules Of Attraction, Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone and Nick Broomfield's Biggie & Tupac.