Toronto TIFF generic Connie Tsang

Source: Connie Tsang

Toronto International Film Festival

STXinternational will launch sales at TIFF and Sony has acquired North American rights to the Black Label Media war epic Devotion starring Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell.

Molly Smith’s Black Label is fully financing the project based on actual events, which has been earmarked for a February 2021 production start.

Majors, who stars in HBO Max series Lovecraft Country and Spike Lee’s Netflix Vietnam drama Da 5 Bloods, and Powell (Hidden Figures, upcoming Top Gun: Maverick) are the leads as Jesse Brown, the first African American to fly in combat for the US Navy, and Tom Hudner, who turned his back on a place at Harvard to fly for the US Navy’s VF-32 squadron.

Devotion is set during the Cold War in the 1950s and recounts how one of the pilots attempts a rescue mission when his friend is shot down behind enemy lines.

JD Dillard (Sweetheart) will direct from a screenplay by Jake Crane and Jonathan A. Stewart, with revisions by Dillard, and based on the book by Adam Makos.

Smith, Rachel Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill are producing for Black Label Media, whose credits include Sicario and ’71.

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired the film and Sony Pictures will distribute in North America. STXinternational will handle sales and distribute directly in the UK and Ireland. CAA Media Finance brokered the deal with STX.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with both Sony Pictures and STX International to bring this epic story to the big screen,” said Molly Smith. “JD Dillard is one of the most exciting filmmakers in the business and brings an extraordinary vision to this film in combination with our talented cast.”