FilmNation has acquired the majority of worldwide sales rights to David Michôd’s follow-up to Animal Kingdom, and will jointly represent US sales with UTA.

The domestic element marks a departure for FilmNation, which is looking for more opportunities to come aboard and develop projects from an early stage.

The deal does not cover the UK, Latin America, Australia and NZ, Benelux, Scandinavia, Greece, Indonesia, Middle East, Poland, Croatia/Slovenia, Romania/Bulgaria/Hungary, Serbia and Turkey.

Porchlight Films and Lava Bear will produce from a script Michôd wrote based on an idea he conceived with Joel Edgerton.

The film will be produced in association with Blue Tongue Films, the directors collective of which Michôd (pictured) is a member. Production will begin towards the end of the year in Australia. 

The Rover takes place in the Australian desert in a dysfunctional near future as a man chases a vicious gang who steals his car.

David Linde will produce for Lava Bear Films, while Liz Watts will produce for Porchlight Films. Lava Bear president Tory Metzger will oversee production for the company.   

“I loved Animal Kingdom and am thrilled to collaborate with such an exciting talent as David Michod,” FilmNation’s Glen Basner said. “This film represents another big step for FilmNation as we continue to invest in high-calibre films. The Rover is going to be one kick-ass flick.”

“It’s a pretty clearly encouraging indicator for me with a new project when people of serious smarts and taste want to be involved and be involved early,” Michôd said. “I really feel like I’ve received that tick of approval in a big way today from the good folk at FilmNation.”

“David Michôd has an incredibly unique voice and style that has already been acclaimed around the world,” Linde said. “The Rover continues this style of combining powerful imagery with a story that draws you in from the opening scene. We are very pleased that FilmNation has joined us as our partner in both the US and other places around the globe.”

“We are looking forward to working with David once again on The Rover – an international story of iconic proportions, imbued with the distinctiveness of David’s direction and storytelling with an Australian background not seen before,” Watts said.

UTA Independent Film Group negotiated the deal with Linde and Adam Rymer at Lava Bear and Basner and Alison Cohen at FilmNation. Attorneys Nina Stevenson and David Boyle represented the producers.