By Matt Grobar
EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment has picked up U.S. rights to Misanthrope, a psychological thriller marking the first English-feature from BAFTA-winning Argentinian director Damián Szifron (Wild Tales). The indie distributor has slated the film starring Emmy nominee Shailene Woodley (Big Little Lies), Emmy winner Ben Mendelsohn (The Outsider) and Emmy nominee Jovan Adepo (Babylon) for release exclusively in theaters nationwide in the first half of 2023.
The film written by Szifron and Jonathan Wakeham picks up in Baltimore on New Year’s Eve, as a talented but troubled police officer (Woodley) is recruited by the FBI’s chief investigator (Mendelsohn) to help profile and track down a mass murderer.
Pic’s producers are Szifron, Woodley, Aaron Ryder and Stuart Manashil. Its exec producers are Glen Basner, Alison Cohen, Milan Popelka, Michael A. Jackman, Clay Pecorin, Russell Geyser, Russ Posternak and Jane Sinisi. FilmNation Entertainment and Rainmaker Films financed the film, with the former also handling worldwide sales.
“Misanthrope is a film that revitalizes one’s love for independent filmmaking, from the direction down to cinematography. Every actor’s performance is captivating and pivotal to the story being spun,” remarked Vertical Entertainment Partner, Peter Jarowey. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with FilmNation to bring this edge-of-your-seat thriller to screens everywhere.”
“We’re tremendously excited that our film has found a home with Vertical and know this thrilling story will entertain and resonate with moviegoers around the world,” added producers Ryder and Manashil in a joint statement.
Vertical Entertainment’s current and upcoming releases include Michael Jacobs’ Maybe I Do starring Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, William H. Macy, Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey; K. Asher Levin’s Good Side of a Bad Man starring Emile Hirsch, Thomas Jane, Harvey Keitel and Ashley Benson; Darren Le Gallo’s Sam & Kate starring Dustin Hoffman and Sissy Spacek; Hans Canosa’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Gabrielle Zevin; John Patton Ford’s Sundance 2022 thriller Emily the Criminal starring Aubrey Plaza, who is nominated for a 2022 Gotham Award for Outstanding Lead Performance; the 2022 SXSW thriller Gone in the Night, directed by Eli Horowitz and starring Winona Ryder and John Gallagher Jr.; Krystin Ver Linden’s Sundance 2022 pic Alice, starring Keke Palmer, Common, Gaius Charles and Jonny Lee Miller; and John Michael McDonagh’s The Forgiven, starring Ralph Fiennes, Jessica Chastain and Matt Smith, which premiered at Tribeca 2022.
Jarowey and SVP of Acquisitions Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal for Misanthrope on behalf of Vertical Entertainment, with Matt Aizenstadt of FilmNation Entertainment and David Spiegelman on behalf of the filmmakers.
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