×

YouTube’s ‘Viper Club’ Starring Susan Sarandon to Get Theatrical Release by Roadside Attractions

Video site's first original film will hit cinemas in awards-season window

YouTube inked a pact with Roadside Attractions to release “Viper Club,” Maryam Keshavarz’s drama starring Susan Sarandon, in U.S. theaters this fall — as Google sets its sights on a potential Oscar or Golden Globes win.

The film will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (which runs Sept. 6-18) and will be released in theaters on Oct. 26, 2018. “Viper Club” will become available on YouTube Premium, the $9.99 subscription service, in 2019.

It’s the first YouTube original film to get a theatrical release. Roadside hasn’t set specific rollout plans for “Viper Club” (only in the U.S.) but the film will be positioned to take advantage of the awards-season corridor.

The film was previously called “Vulture Club” and the name was changed to “Viper Club” in the last few weeks. Asked why the title changed, a YouTube rep said only that the former was a working title.

Co-written by Keshavarz and Jonathan Mastro, “Viper Club” tells the story of Helen (Sarandon), a veteran ER nurse secretly struggling to free her adult son, a foreign war correspondent, from capture by a terrorist group. After being stymied by government bureaucrats, she discovers a covert community of journalists and advocates who might be able to help her.

Headlined by Oscar-winner Sarandon, “Viper Club” co-stars Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie,” “The Sopranos”) and Matt Bomer (“The Normal Heart,” “Magic Mike”), along with Lola Kirke (“Mistress America,” “Gone Girl”), Adepero Oduye (“The Big Short,” “12 Years a Slave”), Sheila Vand (“Argo,” “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”) and Julian Morris (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House”), who plays Helen’s son Andy.

Popular on Variety

“Viper Club” is Keshavarz’s second feature film following “Circumstance,” a drama depicting a lesbian relationship in present-day Tehran. “Circumstance, which also was released by Roadside, won the audience award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

“Viper Club” was produced by Anna Gerb, Neal Dodson, and J.C. Chandor, the filmmaking team behind “Margin Call” and “All Is Lost” (both released by Roadside) as well as “A Most Violent Year.” Roadside Attractions co-founder Howard Cohen negotiated the deal with YouTube for theatrical distribution.

Susan Sarandon’s emotional, tour de force performance anchors ‘Viper Club,'” Roadside’s Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff said in a statement. “It’s a compelling, timely story brilliantly captured and told by Maryam, and we are excited to be partnering with YouTube to bring the film to theaters this fall.”

“Susan Sarandon immediately drew us into this emotional drama, and Maryam Keshavarz lends her unique perspective as an Iranian-American filmmaker,” added Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content. “The extremely talented cast delivered powerful performances, and we are thrilled to debut this film at the Toronto International Film Festival and partner with Roadside to bring the film to theaters this fall.”

YouTube Premium (formerly called YouTube Red) offers access to YouTube’s original series and movies, plus unlimited access to streaming music and ad-free videos across all of YouTube. The service, priced at $11.99 monthly, is currently available in 16 countries: the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K.

More Film

  • Kevin Hart'Jumanji: The Next Level' film

    Kevin Hart to Star in Action-Comedy from 'Broad City' Alums (EXCLUSIVE)

    Universal Pictures is developing an untitled action-comedy based on an original idea from “Broad City’s” Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs with Kevin Hart attached to star. Aniello and Downs will write the script as well as executive produce. Malcolm D. Lee is on board to direct the film with Will Packer and James Lopez [...]

  • Jeremy Saulnier John Boyega

    Netflix Sets Ensemble for Jeremy Saulnier's 'Rebel Ridge' Starring John Boyega (EXCLUSIVE)

    Don Johnson, James Badge Dale, Zsane Jhe, James Cromwell and “The Crown” breakout Erin Doherty are set to join John Boyega in Netflix’s “Rebel Ridge,” a thriller from “Green Room” writer-director Jeremy Saulnier, Variety has learned. Like the 2013 crime drama “Green Room,” Saulnier’s upcoming movie is said to be a high-velocity thriller that explores [...]

  • The Indoraptor prepares to strike in

    'Jurassic World 3' Director Announces New Title

    Director Colin Trevorrow announced via Twitter on Tuesday that “Jurassic World 3” has started principal production, and he also slyly revealed that the sixth film in the “Jurassic” franchise has a new title: “Jurassic World: Dominion.” The new title — which appears on the slate for the film in Trevorrow’s tweet — evokes the biblical [...]

  • Chuat Reymond

    Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond on Berlin’s ‘My Little Sister’

    Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond’s “My Little Sister” (“Schwesterlein”) premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on Tuesday to strong critical and audience receptions, with particular praise heaped on lead actors Nina Hoss and Lars Eidinger. In his Variety review, Guy Lodge praised: “This is bright, unaffected naturalism with a fluidly roving camera, but also a [...]

  • Miriam Haley and Tarale Wulff

    Women Who Testified in Harvey Weinstein Trial Slam His Lawyers for 'Victim Blaming' 

    Six women testified during the Harvey Weinstein rape trial, and now that the former movie mogul was found guilty of two felony charges, those women are speaking out with newfound freedom. Miriam Haley, who was assaulted by Weinstein in 2006, resulting in him being convicted of a criminal sex act (which carries a maximum sentence [...]

  • E. L. James

    Movie Rights to 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Author's 'The Mister' Land at Universal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Following the massive success of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, Universal and author E. L. James are reteaming on the scribe’s next novel as the studio has optioned the rights to “The Mister,” James’ 2019 best-selling romance. Rights for the book, which recently hit the market, sparked a heated bidding war. James, who produced [...]

  • Bad Tales

    'Bad Tales': Film Review

    At a surprise party for his daughter, a randy Italian homeowner studies a neighbor’s wife through the sliding glass door and describes all the ways he’d like to violate her. In the bathroom, his 14-year-old son sits with his best friend, studying the hardcore porn sites listed in the browsing history of Dad’s cellphone. A [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content