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SXSW Comedy Thriller ‘Villains’ Acquired by Gunpowder & Sky, MoviePass for U.S. Release

Dark comedy thriller “Villains,” which premiered last month at the SXSW Film Festival, has been acquired for U.S. release by Gunpowder & Sky in association with MoviePass’ film division.

G&S and MoviePass Films plans to give “Villains” a theatrical release this summer, after buying the rights from The Realm, Bron Studios genre arm.

The film stars Bill Skarsgård (“Deadpool 2,” “It”) and Maika Monroe (“It Follows,” “The Fifth Wave”) as a pair of amateur criminals who break into a suburban home. There they stumble on a dark secret that the two sadistic homeowners — played by Jeffrey Donovan (“Sicario”) and Kyra Sedgwick (TNT’s “The Closer”) — will do anything to keep from getting out.

The film “has a good cast to spark a scenario that’s intriguing enough to hold attention, if not quite clever enough to be a knockout,” critic Dennis Harvey wrote in his review for Variety. He said “Villains” should be a marketable title as an “accessible, playful genre item with some familiar faces.”

“Villains” directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen commented, “Our brilliant cast and crew worked tirelessly to make this movie something special, and there’s no better affirmation of that goal than finding a home at Gunpowder & Sky. They have a track record of putting out bold and audacious movies, and we’re incredibly proud that ‘Villains’ will land among that company.”

“Villains” was produced by Trevor White, Tim White and Allan Mandelbaum of Star Thrower Entertainment, and Garrick Dion of The Realm, the genre division of Bron Studios. Executive producers are Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Creative Wealth Media’s Jason Cloth, plus Kevin Turen, Chadd Harbold, and Per Melita.

The deal was negotiated by Janet Brown and Jake Hanly of G&S with Bron’s Anjay Nagpal and Endeavor Content. MoviePass Films acquisitions president Zac Bright negotiated on behalf of MoviePass Films. The filmmakers are represented by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment.

The film is the second collaboration between Gunpowder & Sky and The Realm, following the release of sci-fi adventure “Prospect” last year. G&S film acquisitions include “Her Smell,” starring Elisabeth Moss, which is currently in theaters. The studio also recently released 20th Century Fox and Vice Films’ “Lords of Chaos.”

MoviePass Films, the studio division of the financially struggling MoviePass subscription service, is a joint venture with Emmett/Furla Films. MoviePass Films recently pivoted to production and financing, receiving a production credit on thriller “A Vigilante” starring Olivia Wilde and is currently shooting “Axis Sally” with Al Pacino. Other projects include the John Travolta flop “Gotti” and action-thriller “10 Minutes Gone” starring Bruce Willis.

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