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Picture Tree Takes Sales on Oscar Nominee Wolfgang Petersen’s New Film (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 4/20/2017 Robert Mitchell
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Germany’s Picture Tree International has picked up international sales for Wolfgang Petersen’s “Four Against the Bank” and Julian Poelsler’s “Killing Stella.” Picture Tree will debut the titles to international buyers at the Cannes Film Market in May.

“Four Against the Bank” marks Petersen’s (pictured, on the set) return to the director’s chair for the first time since 2006’s “Poseidon.” It is also his first purely German film production since his international breakout hit with 1981’s “Das Boot,” which saw him nominated for an Academy Award for best director.

The crime comedy stars Til Schweiger, Matthias Schweighoefer, Michael “Bully” Herbig and Jan Josef Liefers as four men, betrayed by a bank, who unite to take revenge. The cast also features Alexandra Maria Lara and Anje Traute.

Warner Bros. Germany released the film in German-speaking markets on Christmas Day last year, generating €9.1 million ($9.5 million) in Germany and becoming the fourth-highest-grossing local release of 2016, ahead of Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann.” “Four Against the Bank” generated $11.1 million theatrically for Warner Bros. Germany, including Austria and German-speaking Switzerland.

“Killing Stella” reunites Poelsler with actress Martina Gedeck for a prequel to their 2012 film “The Wall,” which won the prize of the Ecumenical Jury in the Panorama section of that year’s Berlin Film Festival. The family drama, which is currently in post-production, co-stars Matthias Brandt and Mala Emde and is expected to be released in the fall.

Picture Tree’s Cannes slate will also include the new film from “Tangerines” director Zaza Urushadze, “The Confession”; Marie-Helene Roux’s road movie “Links of Life,” which was shot in Utah; and comedy “Hot Dog” (working title), which reunites “Four Against the Bank” stars Schweiger and Schweighoefer, which Warner Bros. Germany will release later this year.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misidentified Picture Tree International as Palm Tree International.

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