Image Entertainment Acquires Rights to DEVIL'S KNOT, Starring Colin Firth
Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand, acquires Worldview Entertainment's crime thriller DEVIL'S KNOT following its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by Academy Award nominated Director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter), the film stars Academy Award winners Colin Firth (The King's Speech) and Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) as well as Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), Golden Globe nominee Mireille Enos ("The Killing") and Stephen Moyer (HBO's "True Blood"). DEVIL'S KNOT is scheduled for a Q2 2014 release. The announcement was made today by Image Entertainment's Chief Acquisition Officer, Bill Bromiley.
"Reese Witherspoon delivers a stellar, emotional performance, displaying her versatility by transforming herself as a vulnerable mother trying to make sense of her son's death," says Bromiley. "Her commitment to the role was exceptional, proving once again why she is one of Hollywood's best leading actors."
Based on the true crime book, Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three by Mara Leveritt, DEVIL'S KNOT tells the compelling story of three teenagers accused of the brutal 1993 murder of three 8-year old boys in Memphis, Ark. - two of them sentenced to life imprisonment and one to death. The film explores the lives of deeply misunderstood outsiders, their families and communities, and their darkest fantasies. The conviction of the West Memphis Three - Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin - riled the American justice system, shocked a tightly knit religious town and outraged the nation.
DEVIL'S KNOT was written by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson and produced by Boardman, Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, Clark Peterson and Christopher Woodrow of Worldview Entertainment.
The deal was negotiated by Mark Ward, Jess De Leo and Bromiley on behalf of RLJ Entertainment, and by CAA and WME on behalf of Worldview Entertainment and the filmmakers.
The compelling tale of the West Memphis Three also inspired a trilogy of HBO documentaries known as Paradise Lost, which chronicled the arrest, 18-year imprisonment and eventual release of the three men. The final film in the series received a 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and a 2012 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary.
About RLJ Entertainment, Inc.
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia with over 5,300 exclusive titles. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Image (feature films, stand-up comedy), One Village (urban), Acacia (fitness), Slingshot (faith), Athena (documentaries), Criterion (art films) and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, digital streaming, broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical.
Via its relationship with Agatha Christie Limited, a company that RLJE owns 64% of, RLJE manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot. And through its direct-to-consumer business, RLJE has direct contacts and billing relationships with millions of consumers.
RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute, and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its nascent Branded digital subscription channels, and engages distinct audiences with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests. RLJE has proprietary e-commerce web sites for the Acorn and Acacia brands, and owns the recently launched Acorn TV digital subscription service.
About Worldview Entertainment
Worldview Entertainment is a leading independent motion picture studio that finances, produces and acquires theatrical quality feature films with budgets up to $50 million for worldwide distribution. The company is backed by a strong capitalization and represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Worldview was founded in 2007 and is based in New York City.
In addition to "Devil's Knot," Worldview Entertainment premiered six films at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival: Eli Roth's highly anticipated return to directing with the horror thriller, "The Green Inferno," which Open Road picked up at Toronto after premiering in the Midnight Madness section; David Gordon Green's drama, "Joe," starring Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan which had its North American premiere following its world premiere at the 2013 Venice Film Festival; Guillaume Canet's crime thriller, "Blood Ties," starring Academy Award nominee Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana and Academy Award nominee James Caan made its North American premiere after making its world premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival; Ti West's "The Sacrament" produced by Eli Roth; and Jehane Noujaim's Egyptian revolution documentary "The Square."
Worldview's impressive 2013 slate includes two studio ddco-financing deals: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu's comedy, "Birdman," with Fox Searchlight and New Regency, starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis and Academy Award nominee Edward Norton, which completed filming this spring; and Daniel Espinosa's crime thriller, "Child 44," with Summit/Lionsgate, starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman, Vincent Cassel and Jason Clarke, which is currently filming in Prague. This summer the company wrapped production on Kate Barker Froyland's drama, "Song One" starring Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway; and Zach Braff's drama, "Wish I Was Here," starring Braff and Academy Award nominee Kate Hudson. Worldview is re-teaming with David Gordon Green this fall on the drama "Manglehorn," starring Academy Award winners Al Pacino and Holly Hunter.
More On: Branded, Fox Searchlight.