Adding to its 2013 slate, Relativity Media will open director-writer Luc Besson's darkly comedic mafia pic Malavita on Oct. 18. The studio also is moving up the release of comedy 21 and Over by two weeks to March 1, taking advantage of Elysium moving off the date.
Malavita, based on the book Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista and adapted by Besson for the big screen, stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron and John D'Leo.
The storyline follows the Manzonis, a notorious crime family who are relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program. While they do their best to fit in, old habits die hard and they soon find themselves handling things the "family" way.
"Luc Besson has pulled together a fantastic cast in Malavita in what promises to be an action-packed and humorous film. We're very excited to give this a home in the fall where audiences crave both witty and exciting fare," Relativity president of worldwide distribution Kyle Davies said.
Malavita will open in the same corridor that has been so prosperous for another Besson project -- Fox and EuropaCorp's Taken 2, which opened earlier this month and quickly transformed into a hit.
Besson -- who produced and co-wrote Taken 2 -- and his company EuropaCorp have a two-picture deal with Relativity; the second film is an untitled Kevin Costner thriller directed by McG.
Virginie-Silla Besson is producing Malavita, while Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley are executive producers.
Relativity also has high hopes for 21 and Over, whose cast includes Miles Teller (Project X), Justin Chon (The Twilight Saga franchise) and Skylar Astin, who is currently generating buzz for his performance in Universal musical comedy Pitch Perfect.
21 and Over follows a straight-A college student and would-be medical student whose 21st birthday turns chaos and debauchery. The film will now open on the same weekend that sleeper hit Project X -- a found-footage high school comedy -- opened in 2012. Relativity jumped at the chance to move onto the March 1 date after Sony and TriStar moved Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi pic Elysium from March 1 to Aug. 9. March 2012 also turned out another youth-skewing hit: 21 Jump Street.
Davies said that 21 and Over has enjoyed strong test screenings. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore directed and wrote; David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Kavanaugh produced.
Relativity's other 2013 films include Movie 43 (Jan. 25), Safe Haven (Feb. 8), Paranoia (Oct. 4) and Out of the Furnace (fall 2013).