Media Rights Capital plans to finance eight films for an estimated $250 million. According to Variety, the directors of those films include Robert Rodriguez, Ricky Gervais, Walter Salles, Ryan Murphy, Richard Kelly, Bennett Miller and Todd Field.

Studios are racing to get their films produced before the impending strike in June, which will cause a major work stoppage. MCR plans to have all eight of their films finished before that time next year. At this time, distribution rights are open with the exception of Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno, which already belongs to Universal Pictures.

The other films include:

Shorts: a film Rodriguez wrote and will direct and produce at his Austin, Texas-based Troublemaker Studios. Family-friendly project in the vein of Rodriguez's Spy Kids series concerns a group of kids who stumble upon a magical device.

This Side of Truth: a comedy that marks the feature-directing debut of Gervais. Set in the present day in a world where the concept of lying doesn't exist, project focuses on a loser who changes his lot when he invents lying and uses it to full advantage to get ahead. Gervais will co-direct with co-writer Matthew Robinson, and Lynda Obst and Oly Obst are producing. Production begins in March.

Linha de passe: a film that "Motorcycle Diaries" helmer Salles is shooting in Brazil, is about a group of brothers who struggle to escape the slums in a variety of ways. Salles is co-directing with Daniela Thomas, who wrote the script with Salles and George Moura. Salles, Mauricio Ramos and Rebecca Yeldham are producing.

Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho a film Murphy will direct in January. Hopkins is set to play the legendary helmer and Mirren his wife and longtime collaborator, Alma Reville. Tom Thayer and Alan Barnette are producing the John McLaughlin-scripted drama.

The Box: a previously announced horror film written and directed by Kelly (Donnie Darko), will star Diaz and shoot in December, with Kelly and Sean McKittrick producing.

Foxcatcher: is Miller's directorial follow-up to Capote. Scripted by E. May Frye, the drama focuses on John E. du Pont, the paranoid schizophrenic heir who, after building the wrestling training facility Team Foxcatcher on his Pennsylvania estate, shot and killed Olympic gold medal-winning grappler David Schultz. Miller will produce with Jon Kilik, with lensing set to begin next spring.

B. Alan Orange