×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Magnolia Pictures Takes U.S. Rights on Cannes Prizewinner ‘Dogman’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Italian director Matteo Garrone’s gritty revenge drama “Dogman,” which won the best actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Dubbed an “urban Western,” the movie marks Garrone’s return to smaller-scale Italian-language filmmaking following his English-language fantasy “Tale of Tales.” “Dogman” is inspired by a murder committed by a dog groomer during the late 1980s in a gang-ridden area outside Rome. 

Newcomer Marcello Fonte, who plays the mild-mannered dog groomer caught up in spiraling violence with a bullying boxer, “gives an expert performance as a saintly scamp who ‘blooms’ into a butterfly of vengeance,” Variety critic Owen Gleiberman said in his review. Besides the acting nod for Fonte, “Dogman” also won Cannes’ unofficial Palm Dog award for its canine cast.

Several critics have pointed out similarities between Garrone’s hit 2008 Neapolitan mob drama “Gomorrah” and “Dogman” in terms of their criminal underworld theme and atmospherics. “Dogman” recently swept Italy’s Silver Ribbon prizes, which are awarded by the Italian film journalists’ union, and is currently considered a front-runner to become the country’s contender for the upcoming foreign-language film Oscar race. 

Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles praised Garrone in a statement for having “fashioned another extremely compelling crime tale, a great companion piece to his ‘Gomorrah,’” and noted that “Marcello Fonte richly deserved his Cannes acting award, as did the canine ensemble.” Magnolia is planning a 2019 U.S. theatrical release.

Garrone, who is currently preparing a “Pinocchio” adaptation, said he was looking forward to bringing “Dogman” to U.S. audiences. His Archimede Films banner produced “Dogman” with financing from RAI Cinema and Le Pacte, which will distribute in France. The producers are Garrone and Le Pacte chief Jean Labadie. HanWay, the company founded by British producer Jeremy Thomas, has U.K. rights. The film was widely pre-sold by RAI sales unit, RAI Com, before Cannes.

The U.S. deal was negotiated by Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, with media investment company 30West, Andrew Kramer and RAI Com.

Magnolia has been an active buyer at the Cannes market, where they picked up Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Palme d’Or winner “Shoplifters,” Iceland’s “Woman at War,” about an ecological activist, and Norwegian disaster film “The Quake.” The company’s recent releases include the Oscar-nominated “I Am Not Your Negro”  and last year’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner, “The Square.”

More Film

  • Aladdin

    China Box Office: 'Aladdin' Opens on Top With $19 Million Weekend

    Disney’s “Aladdin” opened on top of the Chinese box office with a less than magical $18.7 million debut weekend. According to data from Artisan Gateway, the film beat previous chart winner “Detective Pikachu” which earned $7.5 million in its third weekend. That score advances the cumulative China total for “Pikachu” to $83.3 million. The Guy [...]

  • 'Nina Wu' Review: Stylish, Glitchy, Provocative

    Cannes Film Review: 'Nina Wu'

    “They don’t just want to take my body, they want to take my soul!” So runs the overripe line of dialogue that actress Nina Wu (Wu Kexi) has to repeat again and again in “Nina Wu,” the fascinating, glitchy, stylish, and troublesome new film from Taiwanese director Midi Z (“The Road to Mandalay”). Nina practices [...]

  • 'All About Yves" Review: Feeble French

    Cannes Film Review: 'All About Yves'

    Benoit Forgeard’s dorky “All About Yves,” bizarrely chosen as the closing film of 2019’s Directors’ Fortnight selection in Cannes, is literally about an intelligent refrigerator that ascends to Eurovision fame as a rapper. Imagine Spike Jonze’s “Her” played for the cheapest of laughs, shorn of atmosphere, and absent all melancholic insight into our relationship with [...]

  • 'The Bare Necessity' Review: Offbeat, Charming

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Bare Necessity'

    A perfectly charmant way to, as the song has it, forget about your worries and your strife for 100 airy minutes, writer-director Erwan le Duc’s “The Bare Necessity” is a breezy little sweetheart of a debut, that threatens to give the rather ominous description “quirky French romantic comedy” a good name. In its dappled countryside [...]

  • Adam

    Cannes Film Review: 'Adam'

    With her debut feature “Adam,” Maryam Touzani allows her audience to sit back and relax comfortably into a beautifully made, character-driven little gem that knows when and how to touch all the right buttons. Taking the stories of two women, both frozen in existential stasis, and bringing them together in a predictable yet deeply satisfying [...]

  • 'To Live to Sing' Review: A

    Cannes Film Review: 'To Live to Sing'

    After his taut, impressive debut “Old Stone” which tracked with nightmarish relentlessness the high cost of compassion in modern urban China, Canadian-Chinese director Johnny Ma loosens his grip a little to deliver a softer, if not necessarily less pessimistic examination of the failing fortunes of a regional Sichuan Opera troupe. “To Live to Sing” is [...]

  • Hugh Jackman Sings Happy Birthday to

    Hugh Jackman Leads Massive One-Man Show Crowd in 'Happy Birthday' for Ian McKellen

    Hugh Jackman may have had to skip Ian McKellen’s birthday party to perform his one-man show, “The Man, The Music, The Show,” but that didn’t mean he couldn’t celebrate his “X-Men” co-star’s 80th. Jackman took a moment at the Manchester Arena Saturday to lead the sold-out audience — some 50,000 strong — in a rendition [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content