Los Angeles, CA (September 20, 2012) – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the company has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney’s (TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE, ENRON) hockey documentary THE LAST GLADIATORS. Larry Weitzman, Jim Podhoretz and Gibney crafted the screenplay and produced the project, which is a Jigsaw Production in association with Northern Lights Hockey, LLC. Barry Reese, Donald “Dee” Rizzo, Michael Messner, George Gund, and Robert J. Brooks executive produced. THE LAST GLADIATORS made its premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Phase 4 will kick off the theatrical release in Canada in October 2012 with the U.S. following in early 2013. Select engagements will feature a screening of the film, followed by an audience discussion with Stanley Cup winner Chris Nilan.
AcademyAward® winning director Alex Gibney takes an unprecedented look in THE LASTGLADIATORS at the National Hockey League’s most feared enforcers and explores the career of Chris “Knuckles” Nilan. The role was simple: protect their teammates no matter the cost. For Chris this meant a shattered body, addiction to drugs, and harming the people closest to him. But in the process, he won the love of hockey’s holy city, Montreal, and helped the team win the Stanley Cup. Through interviews with hockey’s toughest guys, the film explores what it means to enforce the unspoken code of the NHL.
Said Meyerowitz: “We are thrilled to team up with Alex Gibney to provide audiences with an opportunity to see behind the curtain of the NHL. THE LAST GLADIATORS is an incredibly inspiring, introspective and entertaining film that you will think about for a long time.”
Commented Gibney: “I’m delighted that Phase 4 is releasing THE LAST GLADIATORS, a story that revolves around the compelling character of Chris Nilan – a film I am enormously proud of.”
The deal for THE LAST GLADIATORS was negotiated by Phase 4’s Larry Greenberg and Sam Posner with Josh Braun from Submarine and Anne Atkinson from Pryor Cashman LLP on behalf of the filmmakers.