Cannes: Blumhouse, CMG, Film4 Team on ‘Stoner’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Film4 has four films in competition in Cannes -- 'Carol,' above, 'The Lobster,' 'Macbeth,' 'Youth'

CAROL Cannes Film Festival-3
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Blumhouse Prods. is teaming up with the Cohen Media Group on “Stoner,” which is being co-developed by Film4, the movie arm of U.K. broadcaster Channel 4.

The movie is an adaptation of the novel by John Williams. The story follows the hardscrabble life, both interior and exterior, of a farmer turned academic making his way through the first half of the 20th century.

Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, and Charles S. Cohen and Daniel Battsek of CMG are producing the pic. Kate Hudson and David Kosse, director of Film4, are executive producing.

All three partners on the movie have had a stellar year: Blumhouse’s first micro-budget drama, “Whiplash,” won three Academy Awards; Cohen Media Group’s “Timbuktu” was an Academy Award nominee for foreign-language film; and Film4’s recent credits include Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina,” which has been a specialty hit in the U.S., and the company has four films in competition in Cannes — “Carol,” “The Lobster,” “Macbeth” and “Youth.”

Film4 chief Kosse, who joined late last year from Universal, presented several new Film4 projects in Cannes Friday, including pics by Steve McQueen, Andrea Arnold, Ang Lee, Benedict Andrews and Ben Wheatley.

Following “12 Years a Slave,” Film4 is collaborating once again with McQueen on “Widows,” a heist thriller co-written by McQueen and “Gone Girl” writer Gillian Flynn, based on the 2002 British miniseries by Lynda La Plante. “Widows” is produced by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films for New Regency.

Continuing Film4’s support for debut filmmakers, “Blackbird” is the first film from acclaimed theater director Benedict Andrews. It is adapted by David Harrower from his Olivier Award-winning play of the same title. Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn star.

Currently in production are Arnold’s “American Honey,” starring Shia LaBoeuf, and Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” starring newcomer Joe Alwyn alongside Kristen Stewart, Steve Martin, Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker and Garrett Hedlund. Both projects were developed and co-financed by Film4.

In pre-production is Wheatley’s “Free Fire,” starring Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson and Michael Smiley.