×

Roland Emmerich’s ‘Midway’ Close to Selling Out Globally (EXCLUSIVE)

Rights to Roland Emmerich’s “Midway” are close to selling out globally, weeks after Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios shopped the World War II action epic at Cannes, AGC Studios president of worldwide distribution Michael Rothstein announced Monday.

The new raft of sales includes deals with prominent distribution companies in Europe’s top five territories: Lionsgate for the U.K., Universum in Germany, France’s Metropolitan Film Export, IIF in Italy and Diamond in Spain. “Midway” has also sold to Sun Distribution for Latin America, Central Partnership for Russia, Mislabel for Scandinavia, Elevation for Canada, and Noori for South Korea.

Deals for the U.S. and China, brokered by CAA, were closed in the run-up to Cannes, with Lionsgate acquiring U.S. rights through its Summit Entertainment label and Bona Film Group for Greater China. Of the world’s biggest 15 markets, only two, Australia and Japan, have yet to close. That should come in the next few weeks, Rothstein said, with the Japan deal completing “once Emmerich has finalized casting of the key Japanese roles.”

AGC Intl., AGC Studios’ international distribution division, also inked European deals for “Midway” with DFW (Benelux), Vertical (Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania), Monolith Films (Poland), Blitz (former Yugoslavia), Ascot Elite (Switzerland) and Odeon (Greece). Other agreements include Empire for South Africa, Aqua for Turkey, Selim Ramia for the Middle East, United King for Israel, Acme or the Baltics, PT Prima for Indonesia, Sahamongkol for Thailand, PVR for India, Squarebox for Malaysia, Pioneer for the Philippines, and Cinesky for airlines.

Now in pre-production, with principal photography scheduled to start Sept. 3, Emmerich’s movie is inspired by the true story of the Battle of Midway, the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II, chronicling the heroic and harrowing exploits of the soldiers and aviators who inflicted a devastating defeat on Japan’s navy.

With a cast including Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson and Mandy Moore, “Midway” caused waves when AGC Studios announced one week before the Cannes Film Festival in May that it was bringing the action epic onto the open market running alongside the fest.

CREDIT: Peter Virth/ AGC Studios

Produced by Emmerich’s Centropolis Entertainment, Harald Kloser (“2012,” “Independence Day: Resurgence”), and Mark Gordon (“Saving Private Ryan,” “The Patriot,” “Molly’s Game”), “Midway” weighed in at Cannes as one of its two or three biggest titles, with a budget of around $100 million.

Its pre-sales confirm the major deal-making trend of this year’s Cannes Film Market: A few big projects, some with studio-level budgets and all with big talent attached, were swiftly snatched up by some of the world’s biggest foreign distributors.

“Generally, buyers came to Cannes with a short and very specific list of priority titles and were ready to bid aggressively to secure that premium product,” Rothstein said. “As anticipated, ‘Midway’ was one of those, titles and we did the bulk of these terrific cumulative sales even within the first three to four days of the market.”

“Midway” is written by Wes Tooke (“Colony”) and “Hacksaw Ridge” co-scribe Robert Schenkkan. Financed by Hong Kong-based Starlight Entertainment Group and Providence Entertainment, “Midway” also underscores the importance of Chinese companies in both investment and distribution.

“‘Midway’s’ terrific international Cannes sales will cover a substantial portion of the film’s near-$100 million budget,” said Ford, AGC’s chairman. “But equally as important is the China pre-sale to Bona alongside the equity investment from Starlight and Providence, all previously brokered by CAA. These days, that substantial territorial pre-buy and global investment from one or more Chinese partners is very much de rigueur for independent films budgeted at this level.”

More Film

  • TSOM-MASK

    Director Sara Gouveia on ‘Looking At Resilience Through Art’

    DURBAN–The Mapiko dance of Mozambique’s indigenous Makonde people was long used as a tool for social commentary. But during the colonial era it became an act of political resistance, prompting the Portuguese to stamp it out during Mozambique’s 10-year war for independence. Decades later, the art has been revived as a celebration of freedom. For [...]

  • Don Edkins

    Documentary Filmmaker Don Edkins on ‘Creating an African Voice’ 

    DURBAN–For the 10th Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, a new strand was created to look at the unique challenges and opportunities facing documentary filmmakers in Africa. The two-day program, Durban Does Docs, offers a series of conversations, seminars and workshops with an intensive focus on the aesthetics, funding, distribution [...]

  • A Faithful Man

    Film Review: 'A Faithful Man'

    French actor Louis Garrel has been married twice, first to Iranian talent Golshifteh Farahani, and now to model-cum-actress Laetitia Casta. He has also directed two features, the first a free-wheeling love-triangle comedy called “Two Friends” in which Garrel plays the cad who comes between his best friend and the object of his obsession (played by [...]

  • LGBTQ Film Festival Outfest Opens With

    LGBTQ Film Festival Outfest Opens With Documentary About Gay Porn Shops Circus of Books

    Granted, the red carpet at the opening night of Outfest in DTLA may not have been the most star-studded but it was without a doubt the most diverse, inclusive and, yes, fabulous. “I’ve never been here before,” admitted “RuPaul’s Drag Race” vet Trixie Mattel, who stars in the documentary “Moving Parts.” “It’s supposed to be [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Russ Tamblyn's Career Had Legs After Childhood

    With an acting career that spans work for Cecil B. DeMille and Joseph Losey to Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch, Russ Tamblyn’s creativity and longevity is proof that there’s life after child stardom. In Tamblyn’s case, there’s also been a bounty of juicy film and TV roles long after his legendary legs no longer kicked [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Booksmart Director

    Film News Roundup: Olivia Wilde to Direct Holiday Comedy for Universal

    In today’s film news roundup, Olivia Wilde has landed another directing gig following “Booksmart” and revenge thriller “Seaside” and “Woodstock: The Directors Cut” get August release dates. PROJECT LAUNCH Olivia Wilde will direct and produce an untitled holiday comedy project for Universal Pictures with her “Booksmart” partner Katie Silberman. Universal outbid five other studios for [...]

  • Choas Charles Mansion and the CIA

    Amazon Studios Takes Film Rights to Manson-Centered Drama 'Chaos' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the grisly murders executed by the followers of Charles Manson, Amazon Studios has optioned film rights to a nonfiction title about a journalist who spent decades obsessively following the case. The studio will adapt “Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties,” from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content