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Ethan Hawke-Amanda Seyfried Thriller ‘First Reformed’ Bought by A24 for U.S.

A24 has acquired U.S. rights to Paul Schrader’s thriller “First Reformed,” starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried.

The film premiered on Aug. 31 at the Venice Film Festival, followed by screenings at Telluride and Toronto. A24 plans a 2018 release.

Hawke portrays a mysterious reverend based in a small town in upstate New York. When he’s approached by Seyfried’s character, who’s pregnant and struggling with a seemingly unstable activist husband, Hawke’s character gets embroiled in a treacherous scenario that forces him to confront his troubled past.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman said in his review,Paul Schrader courts respectability and leaves it in the dust, getting stoned on excess. But make no mistake: He’s still one hell of a filmmaker.”

The producers are Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Victoria Hill, Gary Hamilton, and Deepak Sikka. The production companies are Killer Films, Fibonacci Films, Omeira Studio Partners, and Arclight Films. Arclight is handling international rights to the project with CAA co-repping North America.

A24 said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the brilliant, one-of-a-kind Paul Schrader on this deeply provocative and hypnotic new film. ‘First Reformed’ is at once an intimate character study and an expansive and profound look at some of the most universal questions of our time, all told through one man’s riveting and unforgettable personal journey. We’re incredibly excited to bring this masterful achievement out into the world, and to draw attention to Ethan Hawke’s remarkable performance at its center.”

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Schrader wrote or co-wrote screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” and “The Last Temptation of Christ” and has directed 18 feature films, including “American Gigolo,” “Affliction,” “Auto Focus,” and “The Canyons.” “I have been watching A24’s inspirational progress and am excited for my film to join their company,” he said.

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