Directed by Pierre Morel, The Gunman stars Sean Penn as a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from PTSD. He tries to reconnect with his longtime love but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and across Europe to clear his name. The movie was a huge sales title for StudioCanal in Cannes last year, and Open Road earlier this month acquired it for the U.S. The action thriller, which also stars Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Jasmine Trinca, now has been set for a February 20 stateside release. StudioCanal, which has the movie in its home territories, will go first on February 18 in France, followed by Australia and New Zealand on February 19. It will time the UK release to the U.S. and open in Germany a week later on February 26. The Gunman originally had a December 2014 release in France, but I understand the switch was made to accommodate a closer day-and-date with the U.S.
Cannes: Open Road Acquiring StudioCanal’s ‘The Gunman’ With Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba And Ray Winstone
EXCLUSIVE: In its latest aggressive pre-buy to line its slate with star-driven pictures, Open Road Films has on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival closed a deal to acquire U.S. rights to The Gunman, the action thriller that stars Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Jasmine Trinca. It was directed by Taken helmer Pierre Morel. The film was expected to be one of the hot titles for domestic distribution at the market that starts next week. The deal was made by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg and Studiocanal chairman/CEO Olivier Courson. It is a commitment for a big wide release.
Based on the Jean-Patrick Manchette novel The Prone Gunman, the film stars Penn as a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from PTSD. He tries to reconnect with his longtime love, but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and across Europe in order to clear his name. Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Sean Penn are the producers. Adrian Guerra and Peter McAleese are exec producers. It is one of Studiocanal’s biggest productions to date.
EXCLUSIVE: Looks like the sides have been chosen for the shoot-out film The Gunman, which Taken helmer Pierre Morel will direct for Silver Pictures and Studio Canal. Ray Winstone has just joined the film. He’ll play the mentor of the hitman played by Sean Penn, who is betrayed and then hunted by the organization he worked for. On the opposite side of this twosome are Javier Bardem and Idris Elba, and they run all over Europe in a fatal game of cat and mouse. Jasmine Trinca (Miele) is the female lead. Winstone’s tough guy cred includes The Departed, Sexy Beast, 44 Inch Chest and the upcoming Darren Aronofsky-directed Noah, where he goes mano a mano against Russell Crowe in that Biblical epic. I hope this movie is as good as it sounds here, because I’d follow these four actors anywhere. The Gunman is based on the Jean-Patrick Manchette novel Prone Gunman, scripted by Pete Travis. Joel Silver and Andrew Rona are producing. Resolution reps Winstone.
Javier Bardem Pacts Pair: He’ll Star In J.C. Chandor’s ‘A Most Violent Year’ And Opposite Sean Penn In ‘The Gunman’
EXCLUSIVE: Javier Bardem has found a couple of killer roles. He will star as the good guy (for a change) in J.C. Chandor’s next film, A Most Violent Year, which will shoot in Manhattan this fall. Chandor, who made a splash in Cannes unveiling the Robert Redford-starrer survival tale All Is Lost, wrote A Most Violent Year, which Before The Door’s Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb will produce, with FilmNation handling global sales. Bardem is also locking in to go mano a mano with Sean Penn in The Gunman, another project that made waves at Cannes by selling out its foreign territorial allotment. The film is being directed by Pierre Morel and financed by Studio Canal, with Joel Silver and Andrew Rona producing. Bardem excels in these kinds of movies, winning the Oscar for No Country For Old Men, and most recently playing the existentially tortured villain who squared off against 007 in Skyfall. He’s repped by WME and will next be seen in the stellar cast of the Ridley Scott-directed The Counselor, opposite Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz.
EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of its shooting start next month, Sean Penn-starrer The Gunman has virtually sold out for Studiocanal here in Cannes. This is the project from producers Joel Silver and Andrew Rona that Studiocanal is fully financing. Taken helmer Pierre Morel is directing the action film, which previously went by the title Prone Gunman. Silver and Rona are also in business with Studiocanal on the upcoming Jaume Collet-Serra-directed Non-Stop, which Universal is releasing Stateside. Footage from that film was screened for buyers in Cannes, which Studiocanal says helped fuel sales on The Gunman. Morel was also in town to enthuse buyers. The movie sees Penn as an ex-government contract killer whose past comes back to haunt him. Studiocanal closed deals this week in such territories as Scandinavia, Switzerland, China, Russia, Latin America, Benelux, Poland, the Middle East, Greece and Italy, where Rai acquired the pic in what is a rare direct buy for the company. Studiocanal is releasing in France, Germany, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. U.S. studios and indies are circling. I’m told the film is not part of Silver’s deal with Universal.