Toronto: Yorgos Lanthimos' Nicole Kidman-Starring 'Killing of a Sacred Deer' Sells Wide (Exclusive)

Nicole Kidman in 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer'

The film bowed in competition in Cannes and is having its North American debut at TIFF.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Yorgos Lanthimos’ second English-language feature after his 2015 hit The Lobster, has scored a wide array of international deals ahead of its North American debut in Toronto on Saturday.

The darkly comic horror thriller, which stars Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell and Dunkirk breakout Barry Keoghan, bowed in competition in Cannes and had already secured A24 for domestic distribution, as well as Curzon for the U.K. and Haut et Court for France.

New territories for Sacred Deer’s sales rep Hanway Films include Germany (Alamode), Australia and New Zealand (Madman), Japan (Fine Films), Spain (Sun), Benelux (Imagine/Film Freak), Switzerland (Xenix), Italy (Lucky Red), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Portugal (PRIS), India and Pakistan (PictureWorks), South Korea (Aud), CIS/Baltic states (A-One Films), Latin America (Sun Distribution) and the Middle East (Front Row).

While the success of The Lobster, which earned more than $9 million for A24 in the U.S. and marked Lanthimos as a unique, cult filmmaker, no doubt helped attract buyers to The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Hanway managing director Gabrielle Stewart told THR that there were still some territories where this couldn’t be relied upon.

The Lobster hadn’t had a full theatrical release in Germany or Australia, so they couldn’t count on the buzz and are selling Yorgos for the first time,” she said. “Australia and Germany were a bit tougher for that reason — they didn’t have The Lobster’s legacy.”

However, Stewart suggests that the film, which serves up distinctly darker offerings than its predecessor, could attract a new legion of fans.

“I think the exciting thing is that it can hit a whole new audience because there’s definitely a horror element to it. So I think you’re going to get a younger audience and more of a genre audience wanting to see it,” she said.

“And you can get to them with a great intriguing trailer with some very strong performances. Nicole Kidman has added a real movie-star presence to the film.”

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Sept. 9 daily issue at the Toronto Film Festival.

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