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Focus lands women's-rights drama 'Suffragette,' with Mulligan, Streep

Focus Features acquires U.S. rights to the historical drama 'Suffragette,' with Carey Mulligan & Meryl Streep

Focus Features is casting its ballot for "Suffragette."

Universal Pictures' specialty-film imprint has acquired North American distribution rights from Pathé for the British drama about women fighting for the right to vote in the early 20th century, the company announced Tuesday.

The film will open in the fall in the U.S., which along with a starry cast and historical bent could position it as an awards-season contender.

"Suffragette" stars Carey Mulligan as Maud, a working wife and mother who becomes a foot soldier in the early feminist movement and, together with her fellow activists, faces increasingly aggressive police action.

The cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff and Meryl Streep in a supporting role as Emmeline Pankhurst.

Sarah Gavron directed from a script by Abi Morgan ("The Iron Lady," "The Invisible Woman").

Focus also acquired distribution rights for Latin America, India, South Korea and most of Eastern Europe including Russia; Universal's international arm will release the film in those territories.

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