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Liam Neeson’s ‘A Willing Patriot’ Bought by Open Road for U.S.

Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Liam Neeson’s upcoming thriller “A Willing Patriot” and plans a wide release next year.

The film will be financed and produced by MadRiver Pictures, along with Film 360, Hollywood Gang and Jason Keller. CAA packaged and arranged financing for the film.

Neeson will play a CIA agent who engages in an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with a sinister terrorist who’s planning an imminent attack. Martin Zandvliet (“Land Of Mine”) will direct from a script by Jason Keller, who will produce along with Film 360’s Guymon Casady and Darin Friedman, as well as Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari.

The film will shoot on location in South Africa, Morrocco and Tunisia. The project re-teams Neeson with Open Road following their 2011 collaboration on “The Grey.”

Sierra/Affinity sold multiple markets for “A Willing Patriot” at Cannes, including Eagle Pictures for Italy, Freeman Distribution/Monlith/Blitz for Eastern Europe, Scanbox Entertainment for Scandinavia, Selective for France, Splendid Film for German-speaking Europe, and Benelux and Sun Distribution for Latin America and Spain.

It’s the second acquisition in two days for Open Road, which bought U.S. rights to Marlon Wayans’ upcomong spoof “Fifty Shades of Black” on Wednesday. Open Road announced earlier this week that it had signed a production-financing deal with Deepak Nayar’s Riverstone Pictures, a subsidiary of Reliance Entertainment.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road Films by Tom Ortenberg, Elliott Kleinberg and Peter Lawson. CAA negotiated on behalf of MadRiver Pictures and Neeson. Zandvliet is repped by WME and Magnolia Entertainmen. Film 360 is represented by PJ Shapiro and Julian Zafijen, and Hollywood Gang and Keller are repped by attorney Carlos Goodman. Keller is repped by CAA and Management 360.

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