Toronto: ‘Prisoners’ Director Makes 2-Year Deal With Alcon

Deal covers commitment to write and direct another film for Alcon

Denis Villeneuve
George Pimentel/WireImage

On the eve of the Toronto Intl. Film Festilval, Alcon Entertainment and “Prisoners” director Denis Villeneuve have closed a two-year overall deal.

The deal calls covers Villeneuve’s writing and directing services over that period and can be extended by any period during which the director is directing a film. It also has a “blind script” commitment providing Villeneuve the time to both write and direct a feature project.

Alcon said its execs and the director are currently mulling several ideas.

“Prisoners,” starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, will have its official North American premiere in Toronto on Friday. The action-thriller — which centers on two children being abducted — garnered strongly positive reviews following its screening at the Telluride Film Festival last week.

“Our experience with Denis has been one of the most creative and satisfying of our careers,” said Alcon toppers Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. “He’s truly one of the most insightful, artistic filmmakers working today. We believe he’s directed a tremendous film with ‘Prisoners’ and are excited to partner with him on more projects going forward.”

“Prisoners” also stars Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Paul Dano. Producers are Johnson, Kosove, Kira Davis, and Adam Kolbrenner.

The film will be released in the US and Canada Sept. 20. Summit Entertainment is handling international distribution.

Villeneuve, a native of Canada, directed “Incendies,” which was nommed for a foreign language Oscar, as well as “Polytechnique,” “Next Floor,” “Maelström,” and “August 32nd on Earth.” He also directed the independent feature “Enemy,” also starring Gyllenhaal and also premiering at Toronto.

Dave Fierson negotiated the deal on behalf of Alcon.