EXCLUSIVE: IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to The Rental, the thriller that marks the directorial debut of Dave Franco. The film stars GLOW‘s Alison Brie, Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens, Jeremy Allen White (Shameless) and Sheila Vand (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night). Pic will be released July 24.
Scripted by Franco & Joe Swanberg from a story they hatched with Mike Demski, the thriller begins as two couples embark on a weekend getaway to a seemingly perfect house they’ve booked online. What begins as a celebratory weekend for the quartet turns into something far more sinister, as secrets they’ve kept from each other are exposed. It also becomes clear they may not be alone in the house.
The film was produced and financed by Black Bear Pictures. Franco, Elizabeth Haggard, Teddy Schwarzman, Ben Stillman, Swanberg and Christopher Storer are the producers, and Michael Heimler and Sean Durkin are the exec producers.
Franco has long wanted to direct, after a long acting career that includes such films as Neighbors, 21 Jump Street, Now You See Me, The Little Hours, The Disaster Artist, and If Beale Street Could Talk.
Franco said he admired the IFC brand and its genre track record. He told Deadline: “I’ve been wanting to direct a feature for a long time. As a viewer, there’s nothing I love more than a smart thriller. In writing and directing The Rental, I was inspired by films like Rosemary’s Baby, Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Hereditary, all of which elevate the genre beyond cheap jump scares. As a first time director, I obviously wanted to surround myself with really talented people, but it was equally important to me that everyone was friendly and going to work their asses off. I was fortunate to have incredible creative collaborators in a phenomenal cast and crew who brought it all to life beyond anything I could have imagined.”
Arianna Bocco IFC’s EVP of Acquisitions and Productions brokered the deal with Endeavor Content, which repped Black Bear Pictures and the filmmakers in the deal. Bocco said: “We’re beyond excited to partner with Dave on his directorial debut. He is a clear talent in front of and behind the camera and we are thrilled to bring this film to American audiences.”
STXinternational is handling international sales.