U.S. rights to Sundance and Rotterdam ’09 feature “Bronson” by Winding Refn have been acquired by Magnet Releasing. This is the second time Refn has partnered with Magnolia/Magnet, which released the “Pusher” trilogy in the U.S. in 2006. Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn and acquisitions manager Peter van Steemburg negotiated the deal with Ben Roberts, CEO of Protagonist Pictures.
“Bronson” is based on the real life story of the infamous UK prisoner Michael Peterson (aka Charles Bronson), and charts the 34 years of prison life of Britain’s most notorious, dangerous and charismatic criminal (30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement). Played by Tom Hardy (“Rocknrolla”), Bronson was initially sent to prison for a botched armed robbery in which no one was hurt, and who has since served up year after year of extended sentences that have been piled on in response to violent outbursts against fellow inmates and guards, motivated by an unceasing desire to become a celebrity super-star. Over time, Bronson has made a name for himself as a world renowned, award winning artist and author, but still remains a “Category A” prisoner, meaning he is still in solitary confinement in Wakefield high-security prison.
“‘Bronson’ is yet another benchmark film from Refn,” commented Quinn in a statement. “Bringing to the table the rich textures of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and a bravura performance by Tom Hardy, this film is another great example of what defines the aesthetic of Magnet Releasing. Refn is one of our favorite directors working today, and we couldn’t happier about working together again.”
This is the second acquisition within a week for Magnet, which is the genre label of Wagner/Cuban Companies’ Magnolia Pictures, after the earlier announcement of the company’s U.S. pick up of Tony Jaa’s “Ong Bak 2.”