EXCLUSIVE: QED International and Safehouse Pictures have set Brian De Palma to direct the Joby Harold-scripted thriller The Key Man. That film was recently set for U.S. distribution with Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road Films and will begin production by year’s end. QED is financing the movie, about a single father who’s targeted by U.S. government agents because his body contains answers to important national secrets. The style is a throwback to paranoid 70s movies like Three Days of the Condor and Marathon Man. The Key Man will be produced by Bill Block, Paul Hanson, Tory Tunnell and Harold. Harold’s recent script work includes Awake, Army of the Dead and All You Need Is Kill. De Palma, who was part of that paranoid 70s thriller movement, last directed the 2007 Iraq drama Redacted and before that The Black Dahlia. He’s also responsible for Scarface, The Untouchables, Carrie and Mission: Impossible. De Palma’s repped by ICM.
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films — the new distribution company created by exhibitors AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment — just snagged U.S. rights to The Key Man, a thriller written by Joby Harold. QED International is financing the movie, about a single father who’s targeted by U.S. government agents because his body contains answers to important national secrets. QED chief Bill Block says it “recalls great films like Three Days Of The Condor and Marathon Man and is built on a fantastic story in the vein of The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure, and will appeal to a broad global audience.” The film will be widely released and include “a significant P&A commitment” from Open Road, the companies say. Key Man will be produced by Harold, Block, Tory Tunnell and Paul Hanson with principal photography due to begin by early 2012. The deal was negotiated by Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg, General Counsel Elliott Kleinberg and SVP Acquisitions Ben Cotner with QED’s Block and Paul Hanson. Open Road films go to Netflix in the pay TV window following the DVD release. Ortenberg says Key Man is “one of the smartest, most original scripts we’ve seen” and predicts that it “will attract top notch talent.”