Film News Roundup: Stellan Skarsgard’s ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Gets U.S. Distribution

In today’s film news roundup, Stellan Skarsgard’s drama gets U.S. distribution, James DuMont gets cast, “Beautiful in the Morning” opens the LA Femme International Film Festival and Sony sets up multi-lingual comedy “Este Dia.”

ACQUISITION

Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to the drama “Out Stealing Horses,” starring Stellan Skarsgard and directed by Hans Petter Moland.

The film, based on Per Petterson’s award-winning novel, premiered in competition at the 2019 Berlinale and is Norway’s official Oscar entry for best international feature. Magnolia is planning a theatrical release for next year.

Skarsgard portrays a 67-year-old man who, after the death of his wife, retires to a desolate place in the east of Norway. As winter arrives he discovers he has a neighbor, a man he knew during the summer of 1948.

“Hans Petter Moland has delivered an incredibly well-shot and acted adaptation of a greatly loved novel,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “We look forward to bringing it to American audiences.”

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia’s Dori Begley and John Von Thaden with Susan Wendt of Trust Nordisk on behalf of the filmmakers.

CASTING

James DuMont has joined the cast of Walt Disney Pictures’ sports drama “Safety,” with production under way in South Carolina, Variety has learned exclusively.

The movie centers on Ray McElrathbey, a young man whose faith and persistence help him to triumph over repeated adversities and play football on scholarship at Clemson University, all while struggling to raise and care for his 11-year-old brother.

Jay Reeves (“All American”) stars as Ray. Reginald Hudlin directs from a script by Randy McKinnon and Nick Santora. The project is produced by Mark Ciardi (“Chappaquiddick”) and will stream exclusively on Disney Plus.

DuMont co-stars in Apple’s “The Banker” opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult and Anthony Mackie. His credits include “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Patriots Day,” “Jurassic World” and “Trumbo.” His deal was brokered by Brenda Netzberger of Open Range.

FILM FESTIVAL

Flavia Casas’ coming-of-age drama “Beautiful in the Morning” will be the opening film title at the 15th LA Femme International Film Festival on Oct. 17 at the Regal Live in Los Angeles.

“Beautiful in the Morning” stars Mark Wingett (“The Bill”) and Janine Birkett (“Billy Elliot”). It centers on a young girl who reunites with her family in a British seaside town, only for her loyalties to be tested by the arrival of a sexy yet deceiving stranger. The film aims to reveal, through family tensions, the inner contradictions and desires that women face today.

“Beautiful in the Morning” won awards at the London International Motion Picture Awards: best U.K. actor (Jack Loy), best U.K. actress (Birkett) and best supporting actor (Wingett).

PROJECT LAUNCH

Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films has set Catalina Aguilar Mastretta (“Vida”) to direct the multi-lingual comedy “Este Dia” (This Day), from her own screenplay.

The story centers on the magic that happens over the course of a single day in New York, when lives and loves intersect in unexpected and meaningful ways, and people realize that there is more that unites us than divides us.

The project will be produced by Rodrigo Garcia, Mimi Valdés and Nina Yang Bongiovi. The studio is aiming to start production in New York this spring. The project is being overseen by Alexander Almogabar Zahn for Sony Pictures.

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