Optimum Releasing has taken UK rights to Ben Wheatley’s Kill List from Protagonist Pictures.

Wheatley’s follow-up to Down Terrace was a hit after its world premiere at SXSW last week, already sealing a US deal with IFC Midnight.

Protagonist noted that there had been a bidding war amongst several UK distributors. The film screened in London a week ago for buyers.

The deal was negotiated by Optimum’s head of acquisitions Berenice Fugard with Protagonist’s CEO Ben Roberts and head of sales Charlotte van Weede.

The film’s backers include Warp Films, Film4, the UK FIlm Council, and Screen Yorkshire. Producers are Claire Jones and Andy Starke, with executive producers Robin Gutch, Katherine Butler, Lizzie Francke, and Hugo Heppell. Warp’s Barry Ryan co-produced.

The cast features Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring and Emma Fryer. The story is about an ex-soldier turned contract killer who begins to unravel when he takes on a new assignment.

Wheatley also wrote the script with Amy Jump.