×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Backup Media Picks Up Mads Mikkelsen Starrer ‘Arctic’ Ahead of Cannes Premiere

Paris-based Backup Media has acquired multi-territory rights to Joe Penna’s feature debut, “Arctic,” a survival thriller starring Mads Mikkelsen (“Hannibal”), which will make its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in the Midnight screenings section.

Written by Penna and Ryan Morrison, “Arctic” follows Mikkelsen as a man stranded in the Arctic who is finally about to receive his long-awaited rescue. However, after a tragic accident, his opportunity is lost, and he must decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown for potential salvation.

Armory Films’ Chris Lemole and Tim Zajaros, the duo behind Dee Rees’ Oscar-nominated “Mudbound,” produced “Arctic” alongside Noah C. Haeussner of Union. Martha de Laurentiis, Manu Gargi and Einar Thorsteinsson exec produced the film. XYZ Films is representing the international rights, with CAA/UTA handling domestic.

Lemole and Zajaros said the film and Mikkelsen’s performance “drastically exceeded” their expectations.” “It is everything we’d hoped it would be and so much more,” the pair said.

Backup Media has picked rights to “Arctic” for France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Jokers Films will release the film in France, while Koch Films will distribute it in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“Arctic” marks the third collaboration between Backup, The Jokers and Koch, following Takashi Miike’s “Yakuza Apocalypse,” which premiered in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2015, and “Brimstone,” which premiered at Venice in 2016.

“‘Arctic’ is a distinctive and bold thriller we are very proud of bringing to Cannes, the typical film Backup is aiming at producing and/or distributing,” said Backup Media’s co-founder Joel Thibout.

He said Backup was “looking forward doing more of those early multi-territory pickups, relying on our distributor friends and partners’ taste and talent.”

Manuel Chiche, who founded The Jokers in 2014, said that Penna demonstrates with “Arctic” that “making videos on YouTube can be the starting point of a filmmaker career. Joe Penna is definitely a director to watch.”

Moritz Peters, the head of marketing and acquisitions at Koch Films, described “Arctic” as an “‘All Is Lost’ in the perpetual ice,” and said the film had a “great sense of pace and cinematic detail.”

Armory Films just wrapped production on “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” starring Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson.

XYZ Films recently won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize with Macon Blair’s “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” last year.

Aside from “Arctic,” Backup Media’s slate includes Eva Husson’s “Girls of the Sun,” which will world premiere in competition at Cannes, as well as Brian De Palma’s “Domino” and Tim Sutton’s “Donnybrook.” Both “Domino” and “Donnybrook” are currently in post.

More Film

  • Gwyneth Paltrow Variety Cover Story

    Gwyneth Paltrow Talks About Her Biggest Fights With Harvey Weinstein

    In this week’s Variety cover story, Gwyneth Paltrow looks back on the 20th anniversary of winning the best actress Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love.” The movie still holds up today, although there’s an ominous figure lurking in the credits. The romantic comedy was produced by Harvey Weinstein, and Paltrow spoke about working for the volcanic [...]

  • Jason Hoch to Lead Imperative Entertainment's

    Jason Hoch to Lead Imperative Entertainment's New Podcast Division (EXCLUSIVE)

    Entertainment studio Imperative Entertainment has hired producer Jason Hoch to lead its newly formed podcast division, Variety has learned. The new division will create and produce podcasts based on both original ideas and third-party IP, in addition to exploring opportunities within the company’s existing slate of feature and TV projects. Hoch has over 20 years [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow 'Avengers: Infinity War' film

    Gwyneth Paltrow to Exit Marvel Cinematic Universe

    For the last decade, Gwyneth Paltrow has popped up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Pepper Potts, Iron Man’s secretary and eventual girlfriend. But in an interview with Variety, the actress said that she’s planning on retiring the character after this summer’s “Avengers: Endgame.” “I mean, I’m a bit old to be in a suit [...]

  • Oscars Predictions Final

    Final Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win and Who Should Win?

    At 5 p.m. Tuesday on the west coast it’ll be pencils down for Oscar voters, so to speak. Or maybe in an era of online voting, it’s more like laptops closed. Either way, polling for the 91st annual Academy Awards officially concludes in a few short hours. Five days from now, we’ll find out which [...]

  • Modern Films Picks Up Oscar-Nominated 'Never

    Modern Films Picks Up Oscar-Nominated 'Never Look Away' for U.K.

    Modern Films has snagged U.K. and Ireland rights to “Never Look Away,” the German-language Oscar entry from “The Lives of Others” helmer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The multi-generational story follows a young art student (Tom Schilling), who falls in love with a fellow student (Paula Beer). Her father (Sebastian Koch), a renowned doctor, disapproves of [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow Variety Cover Story

    Gwyneth Paltrow on How 'Shakespeare in Love' Changed Her Life (and the Oscars) Forever

    Gwyneth Paltrow never felt the same after making “Shakespeare in Love.” The movie that earned her the best actress Oscar 20 years ago transformed her into a global star. “It just changed my life,” Paltrow says on a recent afternoon in Los Angeles, reflecting on the impact of the 1998 romantic comedy that grossed nearly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content