Upstart company Saban Films will partner with Roadside Attractions to handle the U.S. theatrical distribution of the Tommy Lee Jones-directed The Homesman, the Western that premiered at Cannes. Jones stars with Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, Hailee Steinfeld, James Spader and Meryl Streep. Saban Films, hatched by Haim Saban, and Roadside Attractions plan to release the film this fall on November 7.
Freshly-minted distributor Saban Films has acquired North American rights to Cannes Competition entry, The Homesman. The sophomore directing effort from Tommy Lee Jones is Saban’s first acquisition after launching just last week, and Deadline hears they put down what was about a $3.5M MG. Jones also stars with Hilary Swank, and a supporting cast that includes Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, Hailee Steinfeld, James Spader and Meryl Streep. Saban is headed up by Bill Bromiley who came to Cannes with an aggressive acquisitions strategy and quickly targeted the film after its official debut on Sunday in what is understood to have been a competitive situation. The film received generally upbeat reviews and Deadline’s Pete Hammond has said it has awards potential. The deal was made with majority owner of the North American rights, Brian Kennedy. EuropaCorp is selling internationally.
The Homesman is produced by Peter Brant, Kennedy and Luc Besson and is based on the 1988 novel by Glendon Swarthout with a screenplay by Jones, Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley A. Oliver, It’s set in mid-19th century on the edges of the American frontier. When three women are driven insane, the task of delivering them back east falls to a pious spinster (Swank) who employs a drifter (Jones) to aide in the effort. They cross the untamed Nebraska Territories …
Cannes: Hollywood Arrives In Force As American Films And Stars Crash The Competition And Stir Awards Buzz
The Hollywood invasion of Cannes began in earnest this weekend and continues big time as the U.S.-set movies get their day in the sun on the Croisette — even as a little rain begins to fall for the first time since this movie smorgasboard got rolling last week. Yesterday, Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank hit the fest with a female-centric Western, The Homesman, that is looking for distribution and should find it with no problem. In fact, I just heard they have had at least three offers and a deal could be imminent. Stay tuned. Despite a mixed bag of reviews (but generally upbeat), there’s awards potential there, believe me (more on that one later).
But leading the pack is tonight’s premiere of Bennett Miller’s long-awaited Foxcatcher, which screened for press at 8:30 AM this morning to a wall-to-wall crowd at the Grand Theatre Lumiere (an overflow screening was quickly set up for those who couldn’t get in at the nearby Salle du Soixantieme). And at the press conference that followed, there were loud “bravos” from some journalists as Miller, stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, along with producers Megan Ellison and Jon Kilik, entered the room. That is not usually the case at these things — at least in my experience with the jaded press corps here. The accolades are well-deserved. This is 3-for-3 in the short filmography of Miller, whose two previous films – Capote and Moneyball – went on to Best Picture Oscar nominations. Foxcatcher will make it a third and continues to give distributor Sony Pictures Classics a very good Cannes outing so far following near universal praise for the first film seen in competition, Mr. Turner (it releases December 19). I’m also predicting some sort of prize here at Cannes when the Jury hands them out on Saturday. Certainly Carell is a solid Best Actor contender here for his mind-blowing , slow-burning and completely unexpected turn as wealthy heir John Du Pont, who in 1988 establishes his own stable of world-class American wrestlers at the mammoth DuPont estate engaging in a twisted relationship with two brothers that ended in murder. Sony Classics had intended to release this film last December and even had set an AFI Fest world premiere in early November, but it was abruptly cancelled when Miller decided he needed more time to shape the film, and SPC had to pull it from their 2013 awards-season plans.
Related: Hot Cannes Teaser: ‘Foxcatcher’
Hilary Swank will not sit still for profanity in her house in this clip from Tommy Lee Jones‘ Cannes Competition title The Homesman. Jones helms the western drama that marks his return to the lineup as a director — his feature helming debut, The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada, won prizes in Competition in 2005. Jones, Swank, Hailee Steinfeld, Meryl Streep and James Spader form part of the large cast of The Homesman, an adaptation of Glendon Swarthout’s 1988 novel. When three women are driven insane on the edges of the mid-19th century American frontier, the task of delivering them back east falls to a pious spinster (Swank) who employs a drifter (Jones) to aide in the effort. They cross the untamed Nebraska Territories in a journey marked by stark beauty, constant threat, and psychological peril. Their destination is a church in Iowa where a minister’s wife (Streep) waits to relieve them of the lost souls in their care. Luc Besson is a producer and his EuropaCorp is releasing in France. The Homesman has its official screening on Sunday May 18.
There have been whispers that Tommy Lee Jones‘ The Homesman is heading to Cannes. That’s not a bad projection to make, considering that his previous directorial oater The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada — which, like Homesmen was produced by Luc Besson‘s EuropaCorp — debuted on the Croisette in 2005. Adapted from Glendon Swarthout’s novel, The Homesman follows pioneer woman Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank), who with the help of a claim jumper (Jones), escorts three insane women across Nebraska territory. I had the privilege in February of attending a scoring session for the film by Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami with Jones in attendance. It’s the third time Jones has tapped Beltrami for his films, and with good reason: He savors the composer’s talent for designing and using eclectic instruments in his scores. In musically personifying the film’s crazed women against a windy landscape, Beltrami built what is akin to an Aeolian wind harp at his mountaintop Malibu studio. Beltrami’s homemade instrument consists of several feet of piano wire, connected between an old saloon piano atop a metal freighter, and a water tank atop a hill. As Beltrami plunked at the piano, his fellow musician took a huge bow to the piano wire. The result: a haunting, tinny, bellowing theme that rivals Ennio Morricone’s whistle tune from 1966′s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Beltrami’s music isn’t featured in the first trailer, however, it’s going to be a toss-up in terms of what is more sublime: His score or …
The Danish actress inked with ICM Partners after wrapping The Homesman, a period drama starring Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank, with a big-name supporting cast that includes Meryl Streep, Hailee Steinfeld and James Spader. Sonja Richter has made several Danish movies, earning a pair of best actress noms for both the Bodil Awards and Robert Awards, the country’s film academy and critics’ prizes, respectively. She also appeared in the Danish series on which AMC’s resurrected The Killing is based. Probably best known stateside for her role in 2002′s Open Hearts, she next will be seen in The Keeper of Lost Causes, written by Nikolaj Arcel, who also penned the script to the original Swedish The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
EXCLUSIVE: Hailee Steinfeld held her own among a cast of grizzled veterans in True Grit and earned an Oscar nod for it. Now she’s set to return to the frontier in The Homesman, opposite Tommy Lee Jones who is director, co-writer, producer and star on the period project. Steinfeld joins Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, James Spader, John Lithgow, and Tim Blake Nelson in the pic, about a man (Jones) who teams up with a pioneer woman (Swank) to escort three insane women across the prairie back to civilization. The 16-year-old will play a poor, simple, and barefooted teenager named Tabitha Hutchinson.