LONDON — Icon Film Distribution has acquired the rights to four titles for U.K. distribution.
The first title is “A Most Violent Year,” the thriller from writer/director J.C. Chandor (“All Is Lost,” “Margin Call”). It stars Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”), who is set to star in “Star Wars Episode VII,” and Jessica Chastain (“Miss Julie,” “Zero Dark Thirty”), who is soon to star in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.”
Currently in post-production, the film is produced by Before The Doors’ Neal Dodson and Washington Square Films’ Anna Gerb, along with Chandor. It is co-financed by Participant Media and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, and is being sold internationally by Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment.
Set in New York City during the winter of 1981, the most violent year in the city’s history, the film follows the lives of an immigrant (Oscar Isaac) and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on the opportunities before them as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built.
The second film to be picked up is “Equals,” which is a futuristic romance directed by Drake Doremus, winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2011 for “Like Crazy” and “Breathe In.” It stars Nicholas Hoult (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”) and Kristen Stewart (“Twilight” franchise, “Snow White and the Huntsman”).
Written by Nathan Parker (“Moon”) and produced by Ridley Scott, Chip Diggs, Steven M. Rales, Ann Ruark, Michael Schaefer and Jay Stern, the film is being sold internationally by David Garrett’s Mister Smith.
“Equals” is set in a utopian future, a world in which human emotion has been genetically “switched off” as a response to the devastation that humankind generated through war, outlawing emotion, love and sex. Silas (Hoult), an illustrator, becomes afflicted with “switched-on-syndrome,” allowing him to experience emotion, and is drawn to Nia (Stewart), a fiction writer, who’s also emotionally alive and hiding her condition. When the government announces that a cure for “switched-on syndrome” has been found, Silas and Nia have to find a way to survive.
The third film acquired is “The Legend of Barney Thomson,” which is directed by and stars Robert Carlyle (“28 Weeks Later,” “The Full Monty”), alongside Ray Winstone (“Noah”) and Emma Thomson (“Saving Mr Banks”). Written by Richard Cowan and Colin McLaren, the film is being produced by John G. Lenic, Kaleena Kiff and Brian Coffey, and is being represented internationally by Kirk D’Amico’s Myriad Pictures.
In his directorial debut, Carlyle plays the eponymous Glaswegian barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, with both absurd and macabre consequences as he tries to cover his crimes.
The final acquisition is “It Follows,” which was one of this year’s stand-out films in Cannes following its Critics’ Week premiere. It is directed by David Robert Mitchell (“The Myth of the American Sleepover”), and stars Maika Monroe (“The Guest,” “The Bling Ring”). U.K. rights were acquired from Ryan Kampe’s Visit Films.
After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself plagued by disturbing visions and the inescapable sense that something is following her.