Spanish mini-studio Filmax has boarded UGC's mega-production The Daltons, signing on as co-producer and picking up distribution rights in both Spain and Latin America.

The $26m live-action comedy, whose characters are adapted from the hugely successful Lucky Luke comic book series, is to be directed by Philippe Haim and shoot in Spain this autumn.

Filmax, whose involvement in this project signals new directions for both its production and distribution activities, says it will put up between 10% and 15% of the budget.

'This is the latest advance on our plans to get involved on the ground level in commercial, big budget international films, and form partnerships with other major European companies,' said Filmax president Carlos Fernandez.

The deal was negotiated by Fernandez and Filmax senior vice president of acquisitions Jorge Tuca with UGC International president Said Bed Said and vice president of sales Eva Diederix.

It is not the first time Filmax has picked up sales rights in Latin America, a niche they aim to grow. 'Producers react positively to the idea because Latin America is a difficult territory to sell to, though perhaps less so for Spanish companies,' Fernandez said. 'We know the region well.'

French comedians Eric and Ramzy star in The Daltons, a wild west-set tale about two unsuccessful outlaw brothers who steal a magic sombrero that makes them invisible. With it they hope to pull off a bank robbery and make their mother proud.