As AFM enjoys its first face-to-face edition since 2019, Screen profiles a selection of key titles, at various stages of production, available across the market.
Lionsgate International will kick off pre-sales on the tenth instalment in Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures’ $1bn global horror Saw franchise, which started production in October and will see Tobin Bell reprise his role as the nefarious Jigsaw. Kevin Greutert directs. Lionsgate’s slate also includes Tim Story’s horror comedy The Blackening, one of the highlights of Toronto’s Midnight Madness sidebar that follows a group of Black friends on a deadly Juneteenth cabin getaway.
FilmNation starts talks with international buyers on The Island (working title), a dramatic thriller from Pawel Pawlikowski to star Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, an awards-season contender for Women Talking. The 1930s-set story centres on a couple building an island paradise that goes very wrong. WME Independent represents US rights. FilmNation also has international sales on a Night Of The Living Dead reboot from Village Roadshow, which co-reps US rights with CAA Media Finance.
AGC Studios brings Joel Kinnaman action thriller The Silent Hour. It is producing with Eric Paquette’s Meridian Pictures the story of a hearing-impaired Boston police interpreter and former detective who must thwart corrupt cops on the hunt for a deaf murder witness. Brad Anderson (The Machinist) will direct and the producers have earmarked an early 2023 production start.
The Veterans launches international sales on psychological thriller The Pack starring Florence Pugh and Alexander Skarsgard, who makes his directing debut on the tale of a documentary crew whose story around an Alaskan expedition unravels at an awards show. 30West finances and jointly represents US sales with CAA Media Finance.
Black Bear International launches talks on The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare in turnaround from Paramount, which has Guy Ritchie lined up to direct and Jerry Bruckheimer to produce. Henry Cavill and Eiza Gonzalez star in the wartime spy thriller about Winston Churchill’s covert unit set up to defeat the Nazis.
WME Independent has worldwide rights on Hilary Swank thriller NAR, about a downed pilot who is rescued by a secret US defence department programme. Greg Kwedar directs and Peter Berg stars and produces.
Highland Film Group arrives with worldwide rights to Sand And Stones, a survival thriller starring Nicolas Cage as the father of two teenage sons in a sparsely populated future who must protect his family from ferocious nocturnal creatures.
Voltage Pictures is launching global sales on Blunt, starring Amy Smart, Matt Davis, Ne-Yo, Billy Zane and Greer Grammer. Anna Elizabeth James (Deadly Illusions) directs the mystery thriller about a single mother who awakens tied up in her vacation rental and must work out the identity of her assailant. James produces via her Kiss and Tale Productions alongside Richard Switzer, Julie Gause, Paul Luba and Chad Verdi Jr.
The Exchange will be tempting buyers with Guy Pearce and Jeffrey Dean Morgan crime thriller Neponset Circle (working title). Pauline Chan directs the story of a disgraced detective released from prison who teams up with his ex-partner to track down a serial killer in Boston.
Radiant Films International kicks off talks on completed comedy thriller Borderline starring Samara Weaving, Ray Nicholson and Eric Dane. Radiant and CAA Media Finance jointly represent US rights on the story of a romantic sociopath who escapes a centre for mental health issues and invades the home of a 1990s pop superstar. Tom Ackerley and Josey McNamara are producing through Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment, with Hadeel Reda and Brian Duffield.
Myriad Pictures brings Canadian suspense film The Boy In The Woods from Lumanity Productions. Rebecca Snow is directing the true survival story about a Jewish boy hiding in the forests of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe during the Second World War, based on Maxwell Smart’s memoir of the same name and Snow’s documentary Cheating Hitler: Surviving The Holocaust.
Blue Fox Entertainment will start talks on Tribeca sci-fi family film Space Oddity about a man whose dream to travel to Mars becomes complicated. Kyra Sedgwick directed a cast that includes Kyle Allen, Alexandra Shipp and Kevin Bacon. Blue Fox also brings Mending The Line, which stars Succession’s Brian Cox, Perry Mattfeld, Patricia Heaton and Wes Studi in the tale of a returning Afghan War veteran who bonds with an older soldier who fought in Vietnam. Joshua Caldwell directs.
Concourse Media has Chief Of Station, starring Aaron Eckhart, Alex Pettyfer and Olga Kurylenko in Jesse V Johnson’s thriller about a grieving former CIA agent who teams with an adversary to uncover a conspiracy. Production is scheduled to start on November 14. The slate includes Eugene The Marine starring Nick Nolte and Barbara Hershey in the tale of a former Marine whose regimented life deteriorates after his son pressures him to sell his longtime home. When a mysterious woman appears in his life he starts to loosen up, until people around him start getting killed. Production is scheduled for April 2023.
Magnolia Pictures International will be launching talks on 2022 Edinburgh International Film Festival world premiere Neon Spring, a Latvian LGBTQ+ drama directed by Matiss Kaza. The story follows a 20-year-old from a troubled family who is introduced to Riga’s rave scene and falls in love with a seasoned clubber. Magnolia holds US rights.
Epic Pictures Group is tempting buyers with Double Blind, an Irish horror thriller about a drug trial that goes wrong, leading to the death of anybody who falls asleep. The cast of the Epic production includes Millie Brady and Pollyanna McIntosh. The slate also includes horror anthology Satanic Hispanics, featuring work from five Latino filmmakers.
Visit Films has genre-bending horror thriller A Void, about a troubled couple who find a black hole by their remote cabin. Matt D’Elia directs and the cast includes Aya Cash, Joshua Leonard and Alison Pill.
Red Sea Media will kick off talks on Latency, about a professional gamer and agoraphobic who gets a device to enhance her game-playing and starts to wonder if it is controlling her mind. James Croke will direct from his screenplay, Jordan Gertner produces, and the cast includes Sasha Luss and Alexis Ren. Red Sea also has thriller Paradox Effect starring Olga Kurylenko and Harvey Keitel about a mother who will go to any lengths to save her kidnapped child. Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment is producing and Scott Weintrob directs. Both titles are in pre-production.
Buenos Aires-based sales agent FilmSharks has Singular Crime (Un Crimen Argentino) styled as The Usual Suspects meet Zodiac. Based on the novel by Reynaldo Sietecase, the story follows an investigation into a missing businessman against the backdrop of power and corruption. Lucas Combina directs. Warner Bros Discovery’s Particular Crowd produces with Mediabyte, Pampa Films and Bravura Media. Warner Bros distributes in Latin America. FilmSharks’ roster also includes stop-motion animation My Grandfather’s Demons directed by Nuno Beato.
VMI Worldwide officially kicks off sales on Joachim Back’s Tribeca dark comedy Corner Office starring Jon Hamm in the tale of a corporate climber who discovers a secret room in his drab office, which causes problems with his colleagues. Ted Kupper adapted the screenplay from Jonas Karlsson’s novel The Room. Producers are Tilt9 Entertainment’s Dylan Collingwood, Robert Mitchell, Matt Clarke, David Milchard, and Luke Rivett for Anonymous Content in association with Space Pilot Media’s Oliver Ridge and Andrew Harvey.
Pinnacle Peak Pictures will screen High Expectations starring Kelsey Grammer and Taylor Gray in the tale of a soccer player who falls out of favour with his coach father and tries out for a rival team. Jonathan Southard and Christopher D White co-directed. Fathom Events released in the US on 850 screens last spring.
Toronto-based genre specialist Raven Banner will start talks on The Fight Machine, in which two men from different backgrounds meet in the world of illegal bare-knuckle boxing. Andrew Thomas Hunt directs the action drama from a screenplay he co-wrote with Craig Davidson. The cast includes Dempsey Bryk, Greg Bryk, Noah Danby, Greg Hovanessian and Michael Ironside.
Motion Picture Exchange brings Blind Hummingbird Productions’ fantasy thriller Fanga, a spin on the Beauty And The Beast story in which an unstable farm girl is taken captive by a flesh-eating beast. Max Gold wrote and directed the film, which shot in Iceland and stars Andrea Snaedal, Ingi Hrafn Hilmarsson and Gudmundur Thorvaldsson.
MSR Media will talk up Alex Pettyfer action sci-fi Black Noise. Philippe Martinez and Leigh Scott are currently co-directing in Saint Kitts and Nevis the story of an elite security team dispatched to rescue a VIP from an exclusive island where they encounter masked gunmen and a mysterious presence.
Premiere Entertainment Group has murder mystery What Remains starring the Twilight franchise’s Kellan Lutz. He plays a convict who returns to the small town where he committed a murder, as the sheriff (Anne Heche, in one of her final roles) investigates another mysterious homicide that may be related. Nathan Scoggins directs from his original screenplay and Ralph Winter produces.
Entertainment Squad arrives with Mean Spirited, a horror-comedy about a failed YouTuber whose weekend in the Pocono mountains in the eastern US turns into a nightmare when a demon joins the party. Jeff Ryan directed the Frightfest 2022 selection.
MPI Media Group will bring the market premiere of Night Of The Bastard, about a recluse who shelters an injured woman and must defend his property from a bloodthirsty cult and an insatiable sorceress. Erik Boccio directed the horror thriller starring London May, Henry Mortensen and Mya Hudson.
Film Mode brings horror mystery All My Friends Are Dead, in which college friends who rent an Airbnb for a music festival start to die. Marcus Dunstan (The Collector franchise) directs and John Baldecchi produces. Jade Pettyjohn is among the cast.
Foxglove Entertainment, sister company to The Coven, brings documentary Tiny Hearts about the work of paediatric heart surgeon William Novick, who operates on children in struggling or war-torn countries. Chris dela Cruz directed.
Cardinal XD will be talking up Bootyology, a rap ‘rockumentary’ about a filmmaking team and missing rap duo. Joe Eddy directed the film that features original music by District 78; it is produced by District 78 and Ryan Richter of Headcase Pict