Discovery buys Spurlock’s Rats

US cable net Discovery Channel has acquired rights to Morgan Spurlock’s new film, Rats.

Morgan SpurlockDiscovery Communications’ flagship channel is now a partner on the documentary, which Spurlock’s Warrior Poets is producing in association with Dakota Group and film distributor Submarine, which has international sales rights and is shopping it at the Cannes Film Festival this week.

Discovery plans to debut it in the US later this year, with filming finishing in the fourth quarter.

Spurlock (pictured) is directing and producing Rats, with his production partner, Jeremy Chilnick, writing and producing. Stanley Buchthal, David Koh, Josh Braun and Dan Braun are executive producers.

The film is based on Robert Sullivan’s non-fiction book, Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the Cities Most Unwanted Inhabitants. It employs exterminators, city officials, sanitation workers, scientists and historians among others in New York City to explain how rodents can be key to scientific discoveries, despite their negative perception as disease carriers.

“Morgan and his team have found a community of critters very few people have covered: rats,” said John Hoffman, executive VP, documentaries and specials, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel. “Their creative vision on this project is something not to be missed.”

Spulock is best known for docs such as Super Size Me, Where in the Word is Osama Bin Laden?, and Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope.

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