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Buena Vista Acquires Rights To Around the World in 80 Days

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution has acquired the domestic distribution rights to Walden Media's adventure comedy, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, starring Jackie Chan. The film will be released by Walt Disney Pictures as a summer 2004 tentpole.

Directed by Frank Coraci (THE WATERBOY, THE WEDDING SINGER), the film's cast also includes Steve Coogan, Cecile De France, Owen and Luke Wilson, and a star-studded cast of celebrity cameos. Hal Lieberman (TERMINATOR 3) and Bill Badalato (ABOUT SCHMIDT) served as producers.

Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, said, "AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS is quality family entertainment and another great motion picture from the folks at Walden Media. After seeing the film this weekend, we were convinced that this was a perfect release for summer 2004 and we wanted to be involved in bringing it to the movie-going public. This is a terrific ensemble cast of actors in this updated version of the Jules Verne classic and brings new excitement that today's audience is going to love."

Cary Granat, ceo, Walden Media, added, "Walden Media had originally planned on screening AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS for several studios starting this week, but Disney's overwhelming reaction to it made this a simple decision for us. Dick Cook, Nina Jacobson, Oren Aviv and Chuck Viane are the best in the business and have a great mixture of strong creative instincts and impressive business judgment. They are the perfect team and Disney is the perfect home for this special project."

The new take on Jules Verne's classic forces Passepartout (Chan) to journey to China in order to return a valuable jade Buddha that was stolen from his family's village. He teams with eccentric London inventor, Phineas Fogg (Steve Coogan), who puts his reputation, fortune and career on the line in a daring bet to make it around the world in 80 days.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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