A24 and DIRECTV have taken U.S. rights to Susana White’s Woman Walks Ahead about widowed artist Catherine Weldon who travelled to North Dakota in the 1880s to paint Chief Sitting Bull. The western drama made its premiere at this fall’s Toronto International Film Festival and stars Jessica Chastain as Weldon as well as Sam Rockwell, Michael Greyeyes, Ciaran Hinds, and Bill Camp. Stephen Knight wrote the script. DirecTV and A24 will release the movie next year with a national theatrical rollout.
Pic is produced by Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Erika Olde, Richard Solomon, and Andrea Calderwood. It’s a Bedford Falls and Black Bicycle Entertainment production, in association with IM Global, Potboiler Productions and LipSync. The screenplay is by Stephen Knight.
Inspired by true events, Woman Walks Ahead follows Weldon’s deep friendship with Chief Sitting Bull as they join forces to take on the U.S. government in a pivotal battle for Native American land rights. 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.
CAA handled the negotiation on behalf of the filmmakers, with IM Global repping international rights on the film.
Also out of TIFF, A24 and DirecTV jointly acquired Richard Eyre’s The Children Act starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci and directed by Richard Eyre as well as Stephen McCallum’s Australian biker gang thriller 1%. The companies also closed a deal at Toronto for the electrifying thriller Hot Summer Nights starring Timothée Chalamet (who can be seen in A24’s upcoming Lady Bird). Separately, Chastain has STX Entertainment’s Molly’s Game in the awards season mix with that film opening at Christmas.