TIFF: STX Picking Up POV Sci-Fi Action Movie 'Hardcore'

Flexing its muscle at TIFF, STX dove into the festival's genre waters to pick up Hardcore, the action movie told entirely from the POV of the audience.

The new studio, which once insisted it wouldn't pursue finished films for acquisition, beat out several competitors for worldwide rights to the film. A source pegs the deal at $10 million.

The movie hails from Toronto Film Festival's Midnight Madness section, where it premiered to a raucous crowd Saturday night.

The movie is told through the eyes of Henry, a newly resurrected cybernetic super solider who is charged with saving his wife, Estelle (Haley Bennett) from a paramilitary psychic, whose ambitions lean towards total world domination. The audience sees him punch, kick, stab, shoot and use any and all weapons at his disposal. They see him run across bridges, scale walls, ride a motorcycle, fall from a helicopter and get the living heck beat out of him in the movie that is basically like living an action movie via a GoPro on steroids.

Aiding Henry is District 9 star Sharlto Copley, who, in a great showcase for the actor, takes on many personas in the form of clone-like avatars of a paralyzed scientist, and gives the movie its personality since the audience's POV, Henry, does not speak.

Borrowing from first-person shooter video games, the movie's roots grew out of a music video that Moscow-based director Ilya Naishuller produced titled Bad Motherfer that became a viral hit. When fellow Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov suggested turning the POV idea into a feature, Hardcore sprouted. The movie used Indiegogo to raise part of its financing.

Hardcore is repped domestically and internationally by WME Global.

 

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