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Old Henry, the Tim Blake Nelson-starring Western action drama that had its world premiere out of competition at the Venice Film Festival last night, has secured a number of key international territory deals.
VMI Worldwide has sold the Shout! Studios and Hideout Pictures title for Italy (Blue Swan), the U.K. and Australia (Signature), France (Ace Entertainment), Germany (Koch), Benelux (Three Lines), the Middle East and Turkey (Phoenicia Pictures) and South Korea (Jaye Entertainment).
From writer-director Potsy Ponciroli (best known for the Billy Ray Cyrus sitcom Still the King) and also starring Scott Haze and Gavin Lewis, with Trace Adkins and Stephen Dorff, Old Henry follows Henry (Nelson), a farmer who takes in an injured man (Haze) with a satchel of cash. When a posse lead by their fearless chief Ketchum (Dorff) comes for the money, he must decide whom to trust. Defending a siege, he reveals a talent for gunslinging that calls his true identity into question.
In his positive review, The Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney said that the film “plays out for much of its taut buildup and violent climax as a well-crafted exercise in old-fashioned but durable genre tropes. But it evolves into a satisfying reflection on the more complicated, somber realities behind the icons of the Wild West, separated from the embroidery of legend.”
“The flurry of deals are not surprising given the quality of the film but feels great all the same,” said Andre Relis, CEO of VMI Worldwide (who was in attendance at the premiere).
Written and directed by Ponciroli, Old Henry is produced by Shannon Houchins and Michael Hagerty. Executive producers are Alex Siskin, Garson Foos, Bob Emmer, Jordan Fields, Richard Foos, Trevor O’Neil and Blake Nelson.
“There has always been, and always will be, a place in the international market for an elevated Western with high profile cast, compelling characters and lots of action. So we’re thrilled to partner with VMI, whose deep experience with genre films and strong relationships with buyers will propel sales of Old Henry far and wide,” said Julie Dansker, Shout’s head of new content sales and Jordan Fields, executive producer and Shout’s vice president of acquisitions.
“While this is a traditional American western, the story and characters transcend the genre and are relatable in any region of the world,” added Shannon Houchins, producer/CEO Hideout Pictures. “We’re excited to see how the international community responds.”
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London Film Festival