Monday, June 15, 2015

Open Road to Distribute "A Willing Patriot," Starring Liam Neeson




Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to A WILLING PATRIOT, which reunites the company with Liam Neeson who will star and will be financed and produced by MadRiver Pictures, along with Film 360, Hollywood Gang and Jason Keller. The announcement was made today by Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films and Marc Butan of MadRiver Pictures.

In the international thriller A WILLING PATRIOT, a CIA agent (Neeson) engages in an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with a sinister terrorist who's planning an imminent attack.

Martin Zandvliet (“Land Of Mine”) will direct A WILLING PATRIOT from a script by Jason Keller, who will produce along with Film 360’s Guymon Casady and Darin Friedman as well as Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari. Film 360’s Ben Forkner, Hollywood Gang’s Shannon Gaulding and MadRiver’s Ed Fee will oversee on behalf of their respective companies.

A WILLING PATRIOT will shoot on location in South Africa, Morrocco and Tunisia with Open Road Films planning a wide release in 2016.

“Working with Liam Neeson on ‘The Grey’ was a fantastic experience and a success in every way” stated Tom Ortenberg. “A Willing Patriot, like ‘The Grey,’ is top-notch character-driven film. We are thrilled to re-team with Liam and producer Marc Butan, with whom we are working on the upcoming release of ‘Triple 9,’ on this international thriller.”

“We’re excited to be back in business with Open Road,” said Marc Butan. “They showed passion and enthusiasm for this film from day one, and we couldn’t have found a better home for it.”

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road Films by Tom Ortenberg, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Elliott Kleinberg, and Executive Vice President of Production and Acquisitions Peter Lawson. Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which packaged and arranged financing for the film, negotiated on behalf of MadRiver Pictures. Neeson, along with MadRiver, are represented by CAA, while Zandvliet is repped by WME. Film 360 is represented by PJ Shapiro and Julian Zafijen, and Hollywood Gang and Keller are repped by attorney Carlos Goodman. Keller is repped by CAA and Management 360.

Open Road Films is a leading, independent, theatrical motion picture company, releasing a diverse slate of star-driven films which has included multiple #1 releases. It was founded in 2011 by AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMC) and Regal Entertainment Group (Regal), the two largest theatrical exhibition companies in the United States. Open Road and its lenders recently extended the company's $100,000,000 credit facility through 2018.

Current and past releases include: Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which took the #1 spot at the box-office during its opening week and received an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, along with a Golden Globe nomination – it was named one of the best films of 2014 by the AFI and National Board of Review and top critics nationwide; the hit film Chef, written by, directed by and starring Jon Favreau along with Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey, Jr.; The Nut Job, which opened to over $25 million at the box office as the highest ever opening for an independent animated film; The Grey, directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Liam Neeson, which opened #1 at the box office; End Of Watch, directed by David Ayer and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, which opened #1 at the box office; Rosewater, written and directed by Jon Stewart; A Haunted House starring Marlon Wayans; and Side Effects, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum.

Upcoming releases include: Dope (6/19/15), a critical hit and audience favorite comedy out of the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival, written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa; Triple Nine, a thriller directed by John Hillcoat starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot, Norman Reedus, Teresa Palmer and Clifton Collins, Jr. (9/11/15); Rock The Kasbah (10/23/2015), starring Bill Murray along with Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride and Scott Caan, directed by Barry Levinson; the Untitled Oliver Stone/Edward Snowden Project (12/25/15), written and directed by Oliver Stone starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley; Spotlight, directed by Thomas McCarthy, starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and Stanley Tucci; and Sleepless Night starring Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan.

MadRiver Pictures launched in May 2015 following an initial capitalization from a round of private and strategic investors and a $30 million revolving equity investment from Vendian Entertainment. The company plans to finance and produce a broad slate of 3-4 wide release films per year in the $15-50 million budget range.

The existing MadRiver Pictures production slate, includes: John Hillcoat’s “Triple 9” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul and Anthony Mackie, which will be released by Open Road Films on September 11, 2015; Burr Steers’ “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies” starring Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston and Lena Headey, based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling novel, which will be released by Screen Gems on February 19, 2016 and James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z” starring Charlie Hunnam, which begins principal photography in August.

Film 360 has THE GALLOWS coming out on July 10 through Newline/Warner Bros. and is currently in post-production on the STEVE JOBS movie at Universal Pictures which is coming out October 9. Film 360 is also producing LIFEBOAT with a screenplay by Bill Broyles, Joe Wright directing and Anne Hathaway producing and starring for Working Title and Focus Features.


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