FilmNation Sells Out On Starry Spy-Thriller ‘355’ With String Of Multi-Million Dollar Deals — Cannes

By Mike Fleming Jr, Andreas Wiseman

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

EXCLUSIVE: Buyers have been ravenous for FilmNation’s starry spy-sisterhood thriller 355, which has sold out internationally, including a string of multi-million dollar deals.

Following the big deal for France with SND last week, major international pacts have now closed with Tele Munchen Group for Germany, Universal Pictures for the UK, Leone for Italy, Sun Distribution for Spain, Entertainment One for Canada, Sun Distribution in Latin America and Roadshow Films for Australia.

Nordisk Film has bought for Scandinavia, Freeman for CIS, Belga Films for Benelux, Vertical for Eastern Europe, Ascot Elite for Switzerland, Spentzos for Greece, Lev Cinemas for Israel, Italia Film for Middle East, Cinemundo for Portugal and Italia Film for Turkey. Ster-Kinekor took for South Africa.

In Asia, the movie has sold to Kino Films for Japan, Joyncontents Group for South Korea and Thailand, Fox Networks Asia for Pan Asia Pay TV, PVR Pictures for India, PT Prima for Indonesia, Golden Screen for Malaysia, Pioneer Films for Philippines and Blue Lantern for Vietnam.

The Simon Kinberg-directed global spy thriller, which will star Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing and Lupita Nyong’o (who were all in Cannes last week), has an early stage script by Theresa Rebeck. The hope is to launch a franchise based on the idea by Chastain to construct a Bourne Identity-like thriller revolving around five accomplished secret agents from countries around the world. They have to overcome suspicions and political differences to form a spy sisterhood to thwart a common enemy.

These international deals, in combination with splashy US and China pacts which came after the France deal and were worth at least $40m, mean the movie has covered on its budget, which is being pegged in the $75m range. The actresses and filmmakers are understood to have equity stakes in the movie.

The project has proven to be a magnet for distributors on the Riviera. Its strong components, novel approach and female empowerment messaging seemingly combined to make it the right package at the right time.

CAA Media Finance Group sold North American and Chinese rights. Huayi picked up the latter and will co-fi the pic. Freckle Films’ Chastain and Kelly Carmichael are producing with Kinberg and his Kinberg Genre banner.

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