EuropaCorp announced earlier today at the Toronto International Film Festival that it has secured U.S. rights to writer-director Jalmari Helander’s “Big Game,” starring Samuel L. Jackson and newcomer Onni Tommila. The acquisition represents the company’s first ever festival pickup, and it is already eyeing a 2015 domestic release for the film.
Kicking off TIFF’s Midnight Madness section last Friday, “Big Game” earned positive reviews for its guilty pleasure callbacks to ’80s/’90s-era action-adventure blockbusters and its impressive action movie production values. The film follows a 13-year-old boy (Tommila) who, after taking part in a tradition where he must spend one day and one night alone in the wilderness to prove himself a man, discovers the President of the United States (Jackson) in an Air Force One escape pod. As terrorists make their way towards the crash site in order to kidnap the President, the unlikely duo team up for a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.
“We could not be more thrilled about the deal with EuropaCorp,” said producer and co-writer Petri Jokiranta. “Our goal is for the largest audience possible to experience the film and EuropaCorp understands the strength of the film in the U.S. marketplace and their confidence in this title is evident in their release strategy.” For director Helander, the deal marks his second Toronto purchase after his acclaimed 2010 film, “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale,” was picked up by Oscilloscope Laboratories.
“Big Game” also stars Ray Stevenson, Mehmet Kurtulus, Victor Garber, Ted Levine, Felicity Huffman and Jim Broadbent. The film will be released through RelativityEuropaCorpDistribution LLC under the EuropaCorp banner. No specific release date has yet been set.