Sarah Daggar-Nickson’s A Vigilante put itself on the map this year with its premiere at SXSW. The PR push has been nil since then but that’s all changing this weekend with Saban and DIRECTV going public out of Toronto for its transitional release between 2018 and 2019.
A24 and DIRECTV have acquired U.S. rights to the western drama, Woman Walks Ahead. The film made a strong showing for its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival hailing from Our Kind Of Traitor helmer Susanna White.
Jessica Chastain (upcoming Painkiller Jane) leads the film from a script by Stephen Knight (Locke, Eastern Promises, Dirty Pretty Things) which takes its cues from true events. Catherine Weldon (Chastain) is a widowed artist from New York in the 1880s, who travelled to North Dakota to paint a portrait of Chief Sitting Bull. After some initial tension, the two strike up an improbable but deeply committed friendship, joining forces to take on the U.S. government in a pivotal battle for Native American land rights. The movie features great classical storytelling but also a completely revisionist portrait of the American West, unfolding a unique and compelling story through the eyes of an unflappable, singularly determined female protagonist and a three dimensional and deeply heroic Native American leader. The filmmakers collaborated closely with the Native American community throughout production to ensure the individuals and culture portrayed in the film were authentic and accurate.
Sam Rockwell, Michael Greyeyes, Ciaran Hinds, and Bill Camp round out the cast wiyy Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Erika Olde, Richard Solomon, and Andrea Calderwood producing. The film, currently staging a national theatrical 2018 rollout in all major markets, is a Bedford Falls and Black Bicycle Entertainment production, in association with IM Global, Potboiler Productions and LipSync.
About the acquisition, A24 said, “We are incredibly excited to be bringing the Woman Walks Ahead out into the world. Susanna has crafted a rousing, deeply human film that is at once a fascinating piece of history and a remarkably relevant and gripping look at human rights and the courage it takes to stand up for what you believe in. We are so happy to be working with our amazing partners at DIRECTV to give this extraordinary film the platform and profile it deserves.”
Filmmaker Susanna White said, “I am so thrilled to have A24 release Woman Walks Ahead. They are such a creative and imaginative company and a great fit for the movie.”
CAA handled the negotiation on behalf of the filmmakers, with IM Global repping international rights on the film.
The acquisition of Woman Walks Ahead marks another exciting step in A24’s partnership with DIRECTV, which hit a new peak at the recently completed Toronto International Film Festival. The companies jointly acquired acclaimed and high-profile world premieres such as The Children Act, starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci and directed by Richard Eyre (Notes On A Scandal, Iris), as well as festival favorite 1%, a gripping Australian biker gang thriller from up-and-coming filmmaker Stephen McCallum. They also closed a deal at Toronto for the electrifying thriller Hot Summer Nights, starring one the year’s biggest breakout stars, Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird).
The family drama Kingdom is set against the gritty world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in Venice, California. Season two finds Alvey’s (Frank Grillo) improved fortunes have led to a bigger gym, but also a bigger appetite for risk. Ryan “The Destroyer” Wheeler (Matt Lauria) defends his title, while Jay (Jonathan Tucker) finds a new obsession. Lisa (Kiele Sanchez) focuses on managing Alicia (Natalie Martinez), an impulsive but skilled female fighter. Nate’s (Nick Jonas) determination to get back in the cage causes rifts with his family. And Christina (Joanna Going) gets a taste of sober life while carrying the burden of her sons’ struggles—with victory comes agony and a price.
DirecTV’s gritty new original family fight drama, Kingdom, aired last week, and the response from fans and critics have been made quite clear. As such, the new television show has just been greenlit for twenty more new episodes which will begin filming next Spring, with the first ten to air next Fall, followed by the remaining ten for Fall 2016.
Eight more episodes are left for this year’s first season of Kingdom, set in Venice, California and centered on actor Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Raid [upcoming]) who plays an MMA fight gym owner struggling to maintain his complicated relationships with his sons. Also starring and returning for next year’s season are actors Jonathan Tucker, Nick Jonas and Matt Lauria, and actresses Kiele Sanchez and Joanna Going.
Kingdom currently airs Wednesday nights at 9:00pm Eastern and Pacific on the Audience Network. Check your local listings, or visit the official website for more info.