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Film News Roundup: Maggie Gyllenhaal’s ‘Kindergarten Teacher’ Sells to Netflix

In today’s film news roundup, Netflix buys Maggie Gyllenhaal’s drama “The Kindergarten Teacher” and production starts on Mads Mikkelsen’s “Polar” and the horror film “irl.”

ACQUISITION

Netflix has bought North America rights to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s drama “The Kindergarten Teacher” a month after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

Sara Colangelo won Sundance’s directing award in the dramatic film category. Gyllenhaal plays a Staten Island kindergarten teacher who becomes obsessed with a gifted 5-year-old in her class.

The movie is a remake of the Israeli film written and directed by Nadav Lapid. The cast includes Parker Sevak, Rosa Salazar, Anna Baryshnikov, Michael Chernus, and Gael Garcia Bernal.

The film was financed and co-produced by Pia Pressure, Farcaster Films, Imagination Park Entertainment, Manhattan Productions, and PaperChase Films. Producers are Gyllenhaal, Talia Kleinhendler and Osnat Handelsman-Keren of Pie Films, and Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray of Maven Pictures.

PRODUCTION STARTS

Netflix and Constantin Film have started production of the thriller “Polar,” a Constantin Film/Bolt Pictures co-production, in association with Dark Horse Entertainment.

“Polar” is based on the Dark Horse action noir graphic novel “Polar: Came From the Cold” by Victor Santos. Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund, whose “Lords Of Chaos” recently premiered at Sundance, is directing from a screenplay by Jayson Rothwell.

The cast includes Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, and Matt Lucas. The story centers on the world’s top assassin settling into retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he finds himself back in the game going head-to-head with an army of younger, faster, ruthless killers who will stop at nothing to have him silenced.

“Polar” is slated for release on Netflix in 2019, excluding Canada, Germany, and China, where Constantin Film will be handling distribution.

*****

The Squid Farm has begun principal photography of the psychological horror feature “irl.” This is the first project from the recently launched genre film and television production company headed up by Tara L. Craig.

Directed by Jen Harrington, “irl” (web shorthand for “In Real Life”) centers on a social media personality who becomes the target of an online terror campaign. Production is taking place in Los Angeles.

Harrington directed the 2015 horror feature “Housekeeping,” which was acquired by Lionsgate Films/After Dark.

“irl” stars Daisye Tutor (“The Thinning: New World Order”) as Mia, the social media star, and Nicola Posener (“Age of the Living Dead”) as Lani.  It also features Octavius Johnson, Grant Rosenmeyer, Emily Goss, and Stephanie Simbari.

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