David Oyelowo’s The Water Man, the family adventure film that marks the actor’s feature directorial debut, has been acquired by RLJE Films and Netflix. The pic, which bowed at the 2020 Toronto Film Festival, will now hit U.S. theaters and Premium VOD on May 7 via RLJE, with Netflix releasing the film later this year internationally.
The plot of Black List script by Emma Needell centers on Gunner (Lonnie Chavis), who sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Rosario Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who possesses the secret to immortality, the Water Man. After enlisting the help of a mysterious local girl, Jo (Amiah Miller), they journey together into the remote Wild Horse forest — but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them and in the process will discover who his son really is. Alfred Molina and Maria Bello also star.
The Water Man, from Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films, ShivHans Pictures and Yoruba Saxon, is produced by Oyelowo, Carla Gardini, Shivani Rawat and Monica Levinson. Executive producers are Winfrey, Darren M. Demetre, Connor Flanagan and Needell.
The deal comes after recent pickups by the AMC Networks-run RJLE Films of the Nicolas Cage-starrer Prisoners of the Ghostland ahead of its Sundance Film Festival bow, and horror pic Jakob’s Wife ahead of its bow at next month’s SXSW.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.