You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mister Smith Launches Dakota Fanning Starrer ‘Brain on Fire’

Charlize Theron is a producer, ‘Glassland’s’ Gerard Barrett directs

Bringing onto the market a project with literary pedigree from a rising director whose latest film has just earned Sundance plaudits, London’s Mister Smith Ent. will launch international sales at next week’s Berlin Festival on “Brain on Fire,” starring Dakota Fanning in a role which looks like a gift from Charlize Theron, who figures among the producers.

Gerard Barrett (“Glassland”) will direct from his own screenplay based on the New York Times bestselling memoir by Susannah Cahalan. WME will handle domestic sales. Principal photography is scheduled to start in May of this year.

Brain on Fire” toplines Fanning as Cahalan in the true event story of a woman’s terrifying and sudden descent into insanity. The New York Journal of Books dubbed Cahalan’s account “shocking and memorable.”

“The script is a breathtaking account of a young woman’s nightmarish experience.  It is both extraordinary and yet so relatable.  Dakota Fanning is such a talent and perfect for the role, whilst Gerard Barrett has shown himself to be the master of emotional cinema,” said Mister Smith Ent. CEO David Garrett.

Like Studiocanal’s untitled James Marsh movie, about tragic around-the-world yachtsman Donald Crowhurst, announced Tuesday and also heading to for Berlin, “Brain on Fire” also adds to the notable corpus of true-event based movies, ordinary – or extraordinary – people going through extraordinary experiences now often being talked up for Academy Award glory.

Said Garrett: “There is a market for intelligent fare, good-story telling, Think of the kinds of movies that get nominated for Oscars and the Golden Globes – ‘Boyhood,’ ‘The Imitation Game,’ ‘The Theory of Everything,’ ‘Wild’: They are intelligent, have a strong emotional core, are very relatable and based on stories which come from real life.”

Theron, Beth Kono, and AJ Dix produce for Denver and Delilah Films and Rob Merilees for Foundation Features

More Film

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping claps while

    Propaganda Films to Dominate Chinese Theaters in Anniversary Year

    A presentation at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday shed light on the welter of propaganda films that will compete with Hollywood blockbusters for the attention of Chinese cinema goers in the second half of this year. This year is laden with political significance for China’s ruling Communist Party. It is 100 years since [...]

  • Leung Chiu-wai

    Tony Leung to Star in Shanghai Film Group's 'Fox Hunt' Police Action Film

    Hong Kong’s Tony Leung Chiu-wai and mainland China’s Duan Yihong will head the cast of the Shanghai Film Group’s upcoming “Fox Hunt.” The film is based on real live events and depicts the activities of Operation Fox Hunt, a worldwide anti-corruption initiative managed by China’s Ministry of Public Security. The operation seeks to find and [...]

  • Wings Over Everest

    Terence Chang's 'Wings Over Everest' Set to Swell China's Rescue Film Genre

    “Wings over Everest,” a new action adventure film from veteran producer Terence Chang and “Wolf Warrior 2” producer Lu Jianmin, is poised to join the burgeoning Chinese sub-genre of rescue movies.   The Chinese- and English-language film stars Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu (“Project Gutenberg”; “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”), Japanese actor Koji Yakusho (“Babel”; “Memoirs of a [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    China Film Marketing Firms Must Adapt To Internet Age, Says Huayi's Jerry Ye

    Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO and media group VP Jerry Ye made no mention Sunday of the abrupt cancellation of the premiere for his firm’s highly anticipated war epic “The Eight Hundred,” which was set to be the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival’s opening film the night before. Instead, he looked to the future at a panel [...]

  • The Meg

    Chinese Script Development Requires A Different Touch, Top Producers Say

    Leading film producers highlighted the challenges of developing good scripts in China and abroad at a panel during the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday. Wanda Media GM Jiang Wei (aka Wayne Jiang) recommended that producers remain aware of the real differences between the scriptwriting process for Chinese productions versus international and co-productions. The fundamental [...]

  • Lou Ye's "Spring Fever"

    Shanghai: Previously-Banned Producer Nai An Now Hails Chinese Film Funding

    At a panel on indie film production at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival, Chinese and foreign producers discussed the shifting funding landscape for their projects over the years. Nai An, the longtime collaborator of controversial sixth generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye, kicked off the talk with a look back at her producing career, which has [...]

  • My Dear Friend

    Shanghai Film Review: 'My Dear Friend'

    Like a slow-acting hallucinogen, Chinese director Yang Pingdao’s audaciously strange and sorrowful feature debut works its magic so gradually that it’s with a slight surprise that halfway through you glance down and realize you’re high off the social-realist ground, suspended surreally in the air. At first a gritty tale of feckless men abandoning their families [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content