EXCLUSIVE: As a star cast circles, and a domestic auction wraps up, the Dan Gilroy-directed drama Faster, Cheaper, Better has sold out all of its international territories in pre-buy deals. While studios are in the mix for domestic rights and bidding is in the $15 million range, the sold out international territories put the film in a green light position.
CAA Media Finance arranged the film’s financing and is brokering domestic while FilmNation Entertainment dealt a litany of offshore territorial deals on a sweeping near-future epic that spans 20 years, multiple locales and a myriad of characters. The interwoven stories follow a union foreman, a young entrepreneur, an indoor farm executive and a tech billionaire whose lives are upended when automation and A.I. transform the world as we know it. Ultimately, they all must face what it means to be human.
Script was written by Gilroy, who helmed Nightcrawler, the Denzel Washington-starrer Roman J. Israel and the Netflix film Velvet Buzzsaw. Jennifer Fox is producing. When Deadline introduced the film, here is how Gilroy described his intent: “We follow a group of inter-connected characters, as they deal with automation and AI changing their world, particularly the work world. I’ve always been interested in machines and technology and it fairly recently how automation and AI are just profoundly transforming the workplace. For example, right now at this moment, there are fully automated factories around the world where robots are literally making robots to replace people in an absolutely endless variety of jobs. Not just manufacturing and production jobs. I realized when I started doing the research that this is just the beginning of a transformational era we are about to enter into, where automation and AI are really the employment equivalent of climate change. And how utterly unprepared we are as people, and as a world, for what is coming.
“To capture the scope of it, I wrote a large scale, multi-narrative film that’s very character driven, because that’s what I do,” he said. “It’s visually arresting and I really believe it’s international. Every person on the planet is going to be affected by this, profoundly. The backdrop is tech, but it’s a very human story with drama, suspense and humor and spectacle. That’s what multi narrative allows you to do. When you are telling cross stories, you can tonally switch gears, you can capture different angles. It’s such a big event that’s coming that the only way I felt I could do it justice and now slow it down in a narrative way is if I connected the stories thematically, and have the characters connected in very interesting ways. There is the part of a union foreman, a representation of what could be and what’s worth fighting for. The character is a man with a cause. He believes in rights, he believes in fairness and he’s now facing the biggest fight of his life. There is a young entrepreneur, representative of a younger generation. There is a young female executive who works at a massive indoor farm. The other main role is a tech billionaire she has a relationship with, who has his own plot line. The film spans 20 years, so they are aging as we track them during the course of a large, sweeping time span and we’re following what happens to these characters as this automation train we are all on, really starts accelerating.”
Here are the major territory deals:
Australia/New Zealand: Roadshow Films
Benelux: Belga Films S.A.
CIS/Baltics: Capella Film
Eastern Europe: Vertical Distribution Ltd.
Greece/Cyprus: Spentzos Films S.A.
Hong Kong: Intercontinental Film Distributor
Iceland: Sam Film
India/Pakistan: PVR Pictures Ltd.
Indonesia: PT Amero Mitra Film
Israel: LEV Cinemas
Italy: Vertice Cine
Japan: Kinoshita Management Co. Ltd.
Latin America: Vertice Cine
Middle East: Italia Film International
Pan Asia Pay TV: Disney (fka Fox Networks Group Asia)
Portugal: Vertice Cine
Scandinavia: Scanbox Entertainment
Singapore: Shaw Renters PTE
South Africa: Empire Entertainment
Spain: Vertice Cine
Switzerland: Ascot Elite
Turkey: BG Film
UK: Entertainment Film Distributors