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Toronto: EuropaCorp Buys Gun Control Thriller ‘Miss Sloane’ With Jessica Chastain (EXCLUSIVE)

EuropaCorp has acquired worldwide rights to “Miss Sloane,” Variety has learned.

The gun control drama was one of the hot packages going into this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and the auction for the picture was highly competitive. The film stars Jessica Chastain and is directed by John Madden of “Shakespeare in Love” fame. Production is slated to take place in 2016.

FilmNation put the project together. It will partner with EuropaCorp on the film and produce the picture.

Miss Sloane” is the second notable sale of Toronto, after Paramount acquire the Meryl Streep biopic “Florence Foster Jenkins” earlier on Saturday. The market, which is now in its third day, has gotten off to a sluggish start, as buyers seem to be wary of the feverish bidding at Sundance last winter that led to a string of underperforming titles at the summer box office.

First-time screenwriter Jonathan Perera wrote “Miss Sloane,” which centers on a lobbyist’s efforts to push through tighter federal laws regulating guns. In the wake of the mass shootings in places like Newton, Conn. and the live television murder of two Virginia-based television reporters, the issue of gun violence is being hotly debated, making the project a hot-button one.

Ben Browning will produce for FilmNation and Patrick Chu will be the executive producer. EuropaCorp will fully finance the film and handle its distribution.

“The film’s subject matter of gun control is an incredibly important issue in today’s world,” said EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert in a statement. “John Madden and Jessica Chastain bring with them such a high level of artistry, making Miss Sloane a perfect addition to the EuropaCorp slate.”

“We at FilmNation are excited to be partnering with EuropaCorp,” said Glen Basner CEO FilmNation in a statement. “And we are thrilled to see John Madden and Jessica Chastain working together again on what we know will be a highly entertaining and thought provoking film.”

Chastain and Madden worked together on the 2005 thriller “The Debt,” and Chastain is now in Toronto promoting her astronaut role in the Twentieth Century Fox tentpole “The Martian,” which premiered to strong reviews on Friday night.

UTA Independent Film Group represented FilmNation on the deal.

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