HBO Max Lands Doug Liman-Directed ‘Lockdown;’ AGC Studios-Funded Pandemic Heist Pic Stars Anne Hathaway, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ben Stiller

Doug Liman
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

EXCLUSIVE: The Doug Liman-directed heist movie/romantic comedy Lockdown has been acquired in a major worldwide rights deal by Warner Bros Pictures. The intention is to have the picture premiere early 2021 as a Max Original. It’s more evidence of the streamer building up its arsenal of original programming as it adds subscribers, coming after the decision to premiere Wonder Woman 1984 on the HBO Max streaming site in the U.S. on Christmas Day.

Lockdown has a strong ensemble cast led by Anne Hathaway, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ben Stiller, Stephen Merchant, Lucy Boynton, Ben Kingsley, Mindy Kaling and Dule Hill. Steven Knight wrote the script.

Fully financed by Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, the film became a hot title at the virtual Toronto Film Festival Market in September,

CAA Media Finance arranged the financing and brokered the deal.

Storyteller Productions hatched the project and P.J. van Sandwijk, Alison Winter and Michael Lesslie produced. AGC Studios’ Stuart Ford, Miguel Palos Jr, Alastair Burlingham are also exec producers along with Liman and Knight.

While Liman and Storyteller Productions are working out the complicated logistics of shooting for Universal a blockbuster-sized film in which he and Tom Cruise will actually take off in one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches, Liman is a director who takes on a lot of different films and genres. He sparked to Lockdown as a chance to work with a strong ensemble of actors on a more intimate setting and modest budget. They found a way to shoot it in London at a time when the pandemic hobbled most film shoots. The circumstances factor directly into the plot, as a caper takes place during the lockdown period.


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