-Sony Pictures is acquiring the worldwide rights to “Greyhound,” the World War II drama written by Tom Hanks, Deadline reports. Hanks will also star in the film, which will be directed by Aaron Schneider (“Get Low”), and produce with his Playtone partner Gary Goetzman.
In the film, Hanks plays George Krause, the commander of a Navy destroyer called the Greyhound. Sony acquired the rights to the film at the Berlin International Film Festival’s European Film Market.
-Lionsgate has acquired U.S. rights to action film “Rally Car,” starring Keanu Reeves. The film will be directed by Olivier Megaton (“Taken 2,” “Taken 3”) and was written by Jeremy Lott from a treatment by Stephen Hamel.
“Rally Car” stars Reeves as a self-centered American NASCAR driver who revitalizes his career by entering an international Rally Car race across China. It will be produced by Reeves and Stephen Hamel’s Company Films and by Mark Gao and Gregory Ouanhon of Fundamental Films.
-Netflix is nearing a deal to acquire the global rights to the drama “My Happy Family,” which premiered in the Sundance Film Festival’s world dramatic section and is screening at the Berlin International Film Festival, Variety reports. Directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß, the movie will be distributed in France by Alexandre Mallet-Guy’s Memento Distribution.
Sundance Film Festival
The follow-up to Ekvtimishvili and Gross’s feature debut “In Bloom,” “My Happy Family” centers on a middle-aged woman in a Georgian family who decides to leave her husband and move out from her parents’ home to live alone. The movie was produced by Augenschein Filmproduktion, with Polare Film, Arizona Prods., and ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel co-producing.
-Open Road Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the heist film “Finding Steve McQueen,” directed by Mark Steven Johnson (“Ghost Rider,” “Daredevil”). The movie stars Travis Fimmel, Forest Whitaker, William Fichtner and Rachael Taylor, and was acquired out of the Berlin International Film Festival’s European Film Market.
“Finding Steve McQueen” was written by Keith Sharon and Ken Hixon, and is based on the true story of the biggest bank heist in US history, which took place in 1972 when a group of thieves from Youngstown, Ohio attempted to steal $30 million in illegal contributions and blackmail money from President Richard Nixon’s secret fund. Open Road is planning a wide release for the movie in 2018.
-FilmRise has acquired the North American rights to “Manifesto,” starring Cate Blanchett. Directed by Julian Rosefeldt, the film sees Blanchett play 13 separate characters, paying homage to the art manifestos of creative revolutionaries. FilmRise will release the film theatrically later this year.
FilmRise opted-in to Amazon Video Direct’s Film Festival Stars program, which is designed to establish an attractive distribution model for films screened at film festivals, beginning with the Sundance Film Festival. “Manifesto” will also be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video later this year.
-Gravitas Ventures has acquired the distribution rights to the documentary “When the Bough Breaks,” which will be released digitally on iTunes on March 14. Narrated and executive produced by Brooke Shields, and written and directed by Jaimelyn Lippman, the feature-length doc focuses on postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis, which affects one in five new mothers after childbirth.
The film features stories from activist Lindsay Gerszt, Carnie Wilson, Tanya Newbould, Chef Aarti Sequeira and Peggy Tanous, among others and is produced by Lippman, Gerszt and Newbould. The deal was negotiated between Brendan Gallagher of Gravitas Ventures and Diana Holtzberg of East Village Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.
-Shudder is acquiring North American rights the pregnancy horror comedy “Prevenge.” The film follows Ruth, a pregnant woman on a killing spree that is “as funny as it is vicious.” “Prevenge” marks the directorial debut for Alice Lowe, the star and writer of Ben Wheatley’s “Sightseers.”
Lowe wrote and starred in the film while pregnant in real life. The movie will be available on Shudder’s video streaming service and play theatrically in New York and Los Angeles starting on March 24, shortly after screening at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
-RLJ Entertainment has acquired the U.S. rights to the Irish action-thriller “Pilgrimage,” directed by Brendan Muldowney and starring Jon Bernthal, Richard Armitage and Tom Holland. The deal was in the seven figures.
Set in 13th century Ireland, “Pilgrimage” follows a small group of monks as they undertake a treacherous pilgrimage to escort their monastery’s holiest relic to Rome., a trip that becomes increasingly fraught with danger. The film was written by Jamie Hannigan and was produced by Conor Barry and John Keville of Dublin-based Savage Productions and Benoit Roland of Wrong Men. XYZ Films executive produced the film.
-Arrow Films has acquired the U.S., U.K. and Canada rights to the psychological drama “The Ghoul.” The film follows a homicide detective called to London and shown round an old murder scene by a colleague. The victims seemed to keep moving despite taking bullets to the chest and head.
Written and directed by Gareth Tunley, “The Ghoul” stars Tom Meeten (“Paddington”), Alice Lowe (“Sightseers”), Dan Skinner (“High-Rise”), Geoff McGivern, (“Grantchester”), Niamh Cusack (“Testament of Youth”), Rufus Jones (“Bill”) and Paul Kaye (“Game of Thrones”). Produced by Primal Pictures and executive produced by Dhiraj Mahey and Ben Wheatley, “The Ghoul” will screen nationwide in the UK on March 27 as part of the BIFA screening program and will receive a general release in the UK, US and Canada later this year.
-Vertical Entertainment has acquired the North American rights to the romantic drama “Blind” starring Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore, and Dylan McDermott. “Blind” centers on a novelist named Bill (Baldwin) who is blinded in a car crash that killed his wife. Bill rediscovers his passion for both life and writing when he embarks on an affair with the neglected wife (Moore) of an indicted businessman (McDermott).
“Blind” was directed by Michael Mailer and written by John Buffalo Mailer, from a story by Diane Fisher. Foresight Unlimited is selling the international rights to the film at the Berlin International Film Festival’s European Film Market.
-Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired the North American rights to the seductive thriller “Illicit,” from writer-director Corey Grant. The film stars David Ramsey, Vivica A. Fox and Dean Cain, and centers on a well liked parole officer and a beautiful former model who enjoy a successful marriage until she gets the itch to go back to work. As the wife forms a strange friendship with an emerging photographer, the husband has to deal with a parolee who proves to be more than he bargained for.
Breaking Glass Pictures is planning a theatrical release in the Chicago and Atlanta markets in early May, followed by a DVD/VOD release on May 23. Richard Wolff, CEO of Breaking Glass, and Amanda Rae Simon, Esq. negotiated the deal with Todd Slater of Blue Fox Entertainment.
-Gunpowder & Sky Distribution has acquired “Hounds of Love,” the debut film from writer-director Ben Young. Set in Perth during the mid 1980s, the film follows a serial killer couple and an abductee who tries to drive a wedge between them.
Starring Emma Booth, Stephen Curry, and Ashleigh Cummings, “Hounds of Love” had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where Cummings took home the award for Best Actress in a Debut Film. The film is set to open in theaters on May 12 following its North American Premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival.