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

Deal covers commitment to write and direct another film for Alcon

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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Minions Rise of Gru

    'Minions: Rise of Gru,' 'Sing 2' Release Dates Pushed Back, 'Wicked' Indefinitely Delayed

    Universal Pictures is shaking up its release calendar, setting new dates for Illumination’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and “Sing 2.” The “Minions” sequel will now hit theaters next summer, on July 2, 2021. “Sing 2,” originally set to open on that date, has been pushed to Dec. 22, 2021, leaving “Wicked,” an adaptation of [...]

  • Former Hulu Chief Jason Kilar Named

    Former Hulu Chief Jason Kilar Named CEO of WarnerMedia

    Former Hulu chief Jason Kilar has been named CEO of WarnerMedia, giving him oversight of Warner Bros., HBO, the Turner cable assets and the company’s nascent HBO Max streaming platform. Kilar succeeds John Stankey, who was upped in September to AT&T president and chief operating officer. Kilar’s name had surfaced as a contender for the [...]

  • Cargo

    'Cargo': Film Review

    Another word for “Cargo,” a truly unique blend of Hindu mythology and mid-concept science fiction about a futuristic new process by which the recently deceased are beamed onto a spaceship far away in order to have their memories wiped and their souls cleansed for reincarnation, might be “baggage” — as in, dead people show up [...]

  • HTC Headset

    Taiwan Launches Int'l Grant Scheme to Boost VR Content Production

    Taiwan has launched a grant scheme to boost the island’s status as a global hub for virtual reality production. It is offering finance to projects co-produced by companies established in Taiwan and internationally, but excluding those from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The three-year Immersive Content Grant for International Joint Ventures or Co-Productions under [...]

  • Extinction

    Coronavirus Causes 85% Crash in Asia Box Office

    Theatrical box office in the Asia-Pacific region tumbled a massive 85% in the first two months of the year. The coronavirus caused cinema closures, audience hesitation, and a halving of the number of film releases. Asia is home to the five of the top ten cinema markets outside North America. According to data from the [...]

  • Lindsay Lindenbaum on 'Tomboy,' Female Drummers,

    How 'Tomboy' Filmmaker Used SXSW Cancellation to Fine-Tune Her Film

    “Tomboy” filmmaker Lindsay Lindenbaum spent five years following four female drummers trying to make it in a male-dominated world. Lindenbaum profiles Bobbye Hall, a drummer who started at Motown Records in the late ’60s and later toured with Bob Dylan. Samantha Maloney, whose obsession with MTV’s “Headbangers Ball” as a teenager led her to fall [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content