CANNES: Wild Bunch Boards Mel Gibson Starrer ‘Blood Father’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Mel Gibson Gary Oldman Karlovy Vary
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

PARIS– Adding a title that looks set to become one of the talking points of Cannes, Wild Bunch will bring on to market Jean-François Richet’s Mel Gibson starrer “Blood Father,” produced by Paris-based Why Not Productions and Chris Biggs.

“Blood Father” is said to be partly in “The Taken” mode, joining a strong sales pedigree of titles – not just the “Taken” franchise, but also “Non-Stop,” again with Liam Neeson, and “The Gunman,” starring Sean Penn, both of which were produced by Joel Silver. As character-driven action thrillers they have ranked as best sellers at major markets in the past two years.

Since it was announced in development, distributors have been wondering – and salivating – about the possibility of the project being announced for Cannes.

Erin Moriarty, who played Woody Harrelson’s daughter in HBO’s “True Detective,” and Ryan Dorsey (“You’re the Worst”) co-star.

Set to roll in May in New Mexico, with Richet directing a screenplay by U.S. novelist Peter Craig, who co-wrote Ben Affleck’s Warner Bros.-distributed “The Town,” “Blood Father” has Gibson as an ex-con forced to step in and help his estranged 16-year-old daughter when drug mobsters threaten to kill her.

Wild Bunch co-founder Vincent Maraval described it as “a tale of redemption, a la ‘Gran Torino’ meets ‘Taken.'”

Taking “Blood Father,” Wild Bunch renews its long-term relationship with Why Not’s Pascal Caucheteux, a regular source of Wild Bunch Cannes titles as the producer of films by, for example,  Ken Loach, in Cannes competition this year with “Jimmy’s Hall.”

“Blood Father” is part of Wild Bunch’s powerful Cannes slate, which includes Mark Osborne’s French-produced toon blockbuster “The Little Prince,” an adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic novella, Mikael Marcimain’s film and miniseries “Gentlemen” and “Gentlemen & Gangsters,” a thriller  centering around the flamboyant and charismatic Morgan brother. Wild Bunch will also be shopping Kim Farrant’s thriller “Strangerland” with Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes. 

With films such as “Blood Father” and “The Little Prince” on its lineup, Wild Bunch is rolling into Cannes with two of the most market-friendly movie types favored by international buyers: Cast-driven thrillers and upscale family entertainment.

As every year, Wild Bunch reps a flurry of anticipated movies playing in the official selection at the Cannes Festival or in parallel sections. These include Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Search,” Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s “Two Days, One Night,” Jean-Luc Godard’s “Goodbye to Language,”  Loach’s “Jimmy’s Hall,” Zhang Yimou’s “Coming Home,” which is set to world-preem out-of-competition, and Gabe Polsky’s documentary “Red Army,” a special screening. Isao Takahata’s animated fairy tale “The Tale of The Princess” will play at Directors’ Fortnight. 

 

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  1. Michael G says:

    Mel Gibson doesn’t need a come back film because he made bad film choices. He’s a great actor and director. He pissed away his career because his inner hatred of other groups of human beings reached a flashpoint that most movie goers decided they could no longer separate the angry human being from the talented one.

    • Sophie says:

      Michael G, I see this quite differently. I see that he was in the low point of his life and made some unfortunate remarks that were not consistent with his behavior towards others either before or after that time period. It is unkind and unfair to suggest that those remarks are a reflection of his “inner hatred of other groups of human beings”.

      I reckon from your comment that you have never known anyone who has suffered major personality changes during long periods of over use of alcohol. It is not easy to climb back up out of the dark places that alcohol abuse brings about; but I commend anyone who makes the effort to correct past mistakes and move forward.

      Why don’t we give a fellow human being some breathing room and see what he does with the rest of his life. We all chose to be haters or life-givers, it’s that simple.

      If you know this Industry, you know very well that there are many who have said and done the things (&worse) that he did who have their misdeeds covered over and hushed up. For some reason his is splashed all over the place. It’s not easy to stand up again once you make a mess of things as he did, but BRAVO that he has the guts to give it a go.

  2. Ra-Ana says:

    “…broke through with the Lethal Weapon franchise..”?? More like the Mad Max franchise.

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