Magnolia acquires ‘The Hunter’

Wllem Dafoe pic preemed in Toronto

Magnolia Pictures has tracked down ”The Hunter,” acquiring US rights to the wilderness drama after its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Deal was announced Friday in Toronto, where the pic — directed by Daniel Nettheim and written by Alice Addison — had drawn a significant level of interest following its Sept. 9 preem.

”The Hunter,” based on the novel by author/filmmaker Julia Leigh, stars Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, and Frances O’Connor. Vincent Sheehan (”Animal Kingdom”) of Porchlight Films produced.

Magnolia is planning a release next year via its Ultra VOD program.

Pic was shot in Tasmania. Defoe portrays a mercenary hired by a bio-tech firm to track down a rare, possibly extinct animal called the Tasmanian Tiger in the remote and untouched wilderness.

“The Hunter” is Magnolia’s third acquisition at TIFF, following the deals for Michael Dowse’s “Goon” and Bobcat Goldthwait’s “God Bless America” for its genre arm, Magnet.

The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley, Director of Acquisitions Peter Van Steemburg and Head of Legal and Business Affairs Chris Matson. UTA Independent Film Group and eOne negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers. eOne is handling worldwide sales outside Australia and has acquired the pic for Canada.