EXCLUSIVE: Hours after it made its world premiere in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, the Jeremy Saulnier-directed Blue Ruin was acquired by Radius-TWC. Radius co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego bought North American rights, and plan to release the film theatrically this fall. (Watch a clip from the film here.) Saulnier, whose film is one of the few American offerings in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar, here directs a story of a man who finds his quiet life upended by unwelcome news and subsequently sets off for his childhood home to carry out an act of revenge. Proving an improbable assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Blue Ruin was produced by Anish Savjani, Richard Peete and Vincent Savino.
Saulnier first directed Murder Party, which Quinn and Janego released at Magnolia. They called his follow-up Blue Ruin “a masterpiece and a future cult classic. It is one of the most exceptional discoveries of the last few years thanks to Jeremy’s deft hand. We couldn’t be more excited for our second collaboration.”
Said Saulnier: “Tom and I go way back when he championed my first film…I’m thrilled that my new film has found a home with him. Radius is absolutely the perfect fit for Blue Ruin.” Quinn and Janego negotiated the deal with Memento’s Ram Murali, Emilie Georges and Tanja Meissner.
This gives Radius two films playing here at Cannes; the label is also releasing the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed Only God Forgives, which premieres next week and stars Ryan Gosling and Kristen Scott Thomas. Footage on that film was shown at a TWC slate sampling, and is was shocking, in Refn’s signature stylized way. Quinn and Janego’s upcoming slate also includes the Aaron Eckhart-starrer Erased, the Errol Morris-directed The Unknown Known, Morgan Neville’s Twenty Feet From Stardom, Stacie Passon’s Concussion, the Rob Epstein/Jeffrey Friedman-directed Lovelace, the Jacob Kornbluth-directed Sundance winner Inequality For All; and Cutie And The Boxer, for which Zachary Heinzerling won the Sundance U.S. Documentary Directing Award.
Maybe this will break the dealmaking logjam. So far, journalists have been mostly fed press releases for deals that were made months or as long as a year ago; and distributors have only wet socks and ruined shoes to show as they march up and down the Croisette between the Carlton and Majestic Hotels, try to drum up new picture business in the midst of rain that refuses to let up. The only other deals of note made here on the ground so far has been the one The Weinstein Company made for the Stephen Frears-directed Philomena with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, based on seven minutes of footage shown by Pathe. And Lionsgate acquired North American rights to The Quiet Ones. Just before the festival market opened, Warner Bros acquired How To Catch A Monster, the film that marks the directorial debut of Only God Forgives‘ star Gosling.
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