HongKong's Emperor Multimedia Group (EMG) has struck a pan-European deal withthe UK's Medusa to handle Miike Takashi's ultra-violent Ichi TheKiller.

The deal seesMedusa take all rights in East and West Europe. While the film may have itsgreatest potential in the home entertainment sector, Ichi has played numerous European festivalsand Medusa is planning to give it limited theatrical outings in as manyEuropean territories as possible.

A release in the Netherlands, where Medusa has theatricalcapacity, is likely to be the first. In Germany and France, Medusa is holdingoffers from multiple local releasing houses.

In the UK, thecompany is considering handling theatrical on its own. "We have not donea theatrical release since 1994, but are sticking our nose back in," saidMedusa chairman David Hodgins. "We thoroughly expect the censor to askfor some cuts, mainly those scenes in the first five minutes concerning sexualviolence against women, but after that it is comic book stuff."

The innovativedeal sees Medusa and EMG share profit and revenue shares in some of theterritories. "This is a typical modern mix of a deal, much verystraightforward and some twists," said Hodgins.

"Medusahas been doing a great job for Hong Kong movies in Europe and has rejuvenatedthe fortunes of many," said EMG's manager of distribution andacquisitions May Yip.

Medusa has a 57-film,five-year deal with Media Asia, involving the remastering and DVD re-release oflibrary and current titles, that it is presenting under the Legends Of HongKong label.