EXCLUSIVE: As we wait for the acquisition titles here at Toronto to get moving, Relativity has scored its second deal for a film not in the festival. Relativity has closed U.S. distribution rights to the Lotus Entertainment thriller Kidnap, which stars Halle Berry and will be directed by Luis Prieto from a script by Knate Gwaltney. Production on the thriller begins this fall. This follows Relativity’s deal on the fest’s opening day for Woman In Black 2, which is in the can.
It’s also the second deal for Lotus and Gold Star Films, the Kidnap financiers. They previously made a pre-fest North American rights deal with Lionsgate on Maggie, the Henry Hobson-directed zombie film that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin, the latter playing the title character who goes through the slow corpsey metamorphosis. Lotus is selling international on Kidnap, a task made easier given Berry’s track record for woman in jeopardy fare, and a solid domestic deal that will lead to a wide release. Berry plays a mom who’ll stop at nothing to rescue her kidnapped son.
Kidnap is being produced by Di Bonaventura Pictures’ Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Erik Howsam. Exec producing are Joey Tufaro and Colin Bates, along with Lotus Entertainment’s Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, D.J. Gugenheim and Ara Keshishian. Berry will also be exec producer with her 606 Films partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.
CAA, which came to Toronto with a slew of pre-buy opportunities, brokered this deal. Relativity has had luck here in Toronto. Despite all the fanfare surrounding last year’s fest films, they had the biggest grosser in the fright film Oculus. Kidnap adds to Relativity’s expansion into the action genre, which has included 3 Days To Kill and The November Man, with the DJ Caruso-directed The Disappointments Room just getting underway. Lotus separately backed the Tom Tykwer-directed A Hologram For The King with Tom Hanks, the Scott Hicks-directed Fallen, the Craig Zobel-directed Z For Zachariah with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine, and the Anne Hathaway-starrer Song One.
CAA reps all the elements in Kidnap, and Berry is managed by Vincent Cirrincione and lawyered by Doug Stone.