Toronto: Ethan Hawke Thriller 'First Reformed' Goes to A24

Courtesy of Telluride Film Festival
'First Reformed'

Amanda Seyfried and Cedric the Entertainer also star in the Paul Schrader film.

A24 has acquired the U.S. rights to Paul Schrader's thriller First Reformed, the company announced Friday.

In the film, Ethan Hawke plays a church minister and ex-military chaplain who, after losing his son in war, befriends a pregnant woman (Amanda Seyfried) who is suffering from the loss of her husband. He dives deeper into his church’s suspicious affairs and discovers hidden secrets about its complicity with unethical corporations.

Schrader wrote and directed the film. Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Victoria Hill, Gary Hamilton and Deepak Sikka produced, with Brian Beckmann, Philip Burgin, Brooke Lyndon-Stanford, Martin McCabe, Luca Scalisi, Mick Southworth and Ying Ye serving as executive producers. CAA brokered the sales deal.

About the acquisition, A24 said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the brilliant, one-of-a-kind Paul Schrader on this deeply provocative and hypnotic new film. First Reformed is at once an intimate character study and an expansive and profound look at some of the most universal questions of our time, all told through one man’s riveting and unforgettable personal journey. We’re incredibly excited to bring this masterful achievement out into the world and to draw attention to Ethan Hawke’s remarkable performance at its center.”

Schrader said in a statement, "I have been watching A24's inspirational progress and am excited for my film to join their company."

First Reformed made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter's review called it Schrader's "most effective work as a director since Auto Focus 15 years ago."

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