EXCLUSIVE: Black Label and Sony Pictures have confirmed they have joined forces on the high-profile pictures Granite Mountain and Soldado. Sony Pictures will be taking over the distribution of both films in the U.S. and Canada and in select international territories. Deadline identified Sony as the likely landing place for both pictures as they were coming unglued from Lionsgate after that distributor and the producer/financier disagreed over release and marketing plans for the pictures. Black Label is run by Molly Smith and Thad and Trent Luckinbill. Lionsgate remains the distributor in foreign territories.
Granite Mountain, directed by Joseph Kosinski, tells the true tale of an elite crew of heroic firefighters who battled to save their hometown from a wildfire and stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly. The disagreement between Black Label (which produced with di Bonaventura Pictures) was focused on this picture after it received very high test scores after its first screening. Neither side would say exactly where was the beef. The picture had been slotted by Lionsgate for release September 22.
That also gives Sony Soldado, the sequel to the hit film Sicario which Black Label is producing with Thunder Road. Stefano Sollima directs the continuation of the story, with Benicio Del Toro and Brolin reprising their roles in a story of intrigue and double crosses along the border of Mexico. The film is not yet dated but it is expected to be the second movie in a potential trilogy. The films were acquired by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and the deal was negotiated by SPWA’s Steve Bersch and Michael Helfand with Black Label Media’s Joe Cohen.
Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman was exuberant about bringing the double feature into the studio fold. “It’s rare that a studio gets the chance to pick up two films of such high caliber at once,” he said in a statement. “We have a wonderful relationship with Molly, Trent and Thad, and we’re excited to be in partnership with Black Label on these exceptional movies.”