Toronto 2012: Demarest Films Financing Anton Corbijn's 'A Most Wanted Man'

9:29 AM PST 09/06/2012 by Pamela McClintock

Based on John le Carre's bestselling book, the modern-day spy thriller stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdams.

TORONTO -- New financing and production venture Demarest Films has come aboard to co-finance and co-produce Anton Corbijn's espionage saga A Most Wanted Man, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright.

Demarest was launched in April by Sam Englebardt, Michael Lambert and William D. Johnson. The company's slate also includes Neil Jordan's mother-daughter vampire film Byzantium, which is premiering here at the Toronto Film Festival. Byzantium stars Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton.

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A Most Wanted Man is based on John le Carre's acclaimed novel of the same name. Screenwriter Andrew Bovell adapted for the big screen.

The spy thriller is set in present-day Hamburg, Germany, where a mysterious half-Chechen, half-Russian man, brutally scarred from torture, surfaces in the city’s Islamic community, on the run and desperate for help. He seeks to recover his late Russian father’s fortune and soon connects with a conflicted British private banker and a young female lawyer fiercely determined to protect the rights of persecuted émigrés. 

Nothing about the young man seems to add up -- he a victim, a thief or, worse yet, an extremist intent on destruction? All the while, they are watched by the brilliant, roguish chief of a covert German spy unit (Hoffman), who fights to put together the pieces as the clock ticks.

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"A Most Wanted Man is the perfect addition to Demarest’s slate of smart, commercially viable projects. Andrew Bovell did a magnificent job adapting one of Le Carré’s most compelling and relevant novels. Anton Corbijn is at the top of his game and the cast is stellar. We feel fortunate to be a part of this terrific film," said Englebardt.

Producing A Most Wanted Man are Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood under their Potboiler Productions banner, and Stephen and Simon Cornwell of Ink Factory. Johnson and Englebardt will executive produce alongside Tessa Ross of Film4 and le Carré.

FilmNation Entertainment is handling domestic and international sales.

Demarest's other completed films include David Rosenthal’s A Single Shot, starring Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo, and Jeffrey Wright, and Penthouse North, a psychological thriller directed by Joseph Ruben and starring Michelle Monaghan and Michael Keaton. The Weinstein Company is releasing Penthouse North in the U.S.
 
Demarest recently partnered with IM Global and Reliance Big Entertainment to co-finance and co-produce Paranoia, the high-tech corporate espionage thriller directed by Robert Luketic and starring Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman and Amber Heard. Principal photography is underway on the film, which Relativity will release in U.S. theaters on September 27, 2013.  IM Global is handling international distribution.

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