Alexander Skarsgard-Michael Pena Comedy ‘War on Everyone’ Bought by Saban

Saban Films is buying North American distribution rights to the action-comedy “War on Everyone,” starring Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Peña, Theo James and Tessa Thompson.

Irish helmer John Michael McDonagh (“The Guard”) directed from his own script. Bankside Films is handling international sales at the Cannes Film Festival.

War on Everyone” made its world premiere in February at the Berlin Film Festival followed by its U.S. debut at South by Southwest. It follows two corrupt New Mexico cops — played by Pena and Skarsgard — who set out to blackmail and frame every criminal unfortunate enough to cross their path.

Things take a sinister turn, however, when they try to intimidate someone who is more dangerous than they are. Or is he?

Variety‘s Peter Debruge called the film “explosively entertaining” in his review.

McDonagh said, “In an era of increasingly heightened tensions across America between law enforcement agencies and the communities they vow to serve and protect, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Saban Films has the guts to take on U.S. distribution of ‘War on Everyone,’ a film that is totally irresponsible, deliberately inflammatory, and completely lacking in any redeeming social or moral value whatsoever. Venceremos!”

The movie is produced by Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo, and co-produced by Elizabeth Eves for Reprisal Films. Phil Hunt and Compton Ross also produce for Head Gear Films, with the support of the BFI Film Fund.

Pena starred in “The Martian” and Skarsgard will next be seen in “The Legend of Tarzan.” James toplines the “Divergent” series and Thompson was last seen in “Creed.”

Bill Bromiley and Ness Saban negotiated the deal on behalf of Saban Films. UTA Independent Film Group, CAA and Bankside Films represented the producers. McDonagh is repped by UTA and U.K.-based Independent.

Additional territorial deals not previously announced include sales of Germany to Constantin Film, Switzerland to Praesens, Russia to Arthouse and Baltic States to Hea Films. The film was previously sold to Sony Pictures Worldwide for multiple territories and to Icon for U.K., Ireland and Australia/New Zealand.

Saban Films most recently acquired domestic rights to Rob Zombie’s “31” and Renny Harlin’s action-comedy “Skiptrace,” starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville.

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