Black Label Media’s War Epic ‘Devotion’ Lands at Sony Pictures, STXinternational

Jonathan-Majors-and-Glen-Powell
Jim Spellman/Getty Images; Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

JD Dillard's aviator brotherhood drama will star Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell and be shopped to international buyers at the TIFF virtual market.

Black Label Media's historical war epic Devotion, directed by JD Dillard and starring Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell as elite U.S. Navy fighter pilots, has signed worldwide distribution deals.

Sony Pictures is set to distribute in North America the biopic about celebrated American Cold War wingmen Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner, while STXinternational has nabbed the world rights elsewhere and will start shopping Devotion to buyers at the virtual Toronto Film Festival market.

Dillard will direct the war epic from a screenplay written by Jake Crane and Jonathan A. Stewart, with revisions by Dillard. The film, set to start shooting in Feb. 2021, is based on a book by Adam Makos, Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism.

The central characters are Hudner, an all-American soldier who passed up Harvard to join the Navy, and Brown, a talented pilot who would become the first African American to fly in combat for the U.S. Navy. Devotion sees their brotherhood as part of the VF-32 squadron, while the U.S. was deeply segregated back home, tested on the battlefield, and especially when one of them is shot down behind enemy lines and the other attempts a one-man rescue mission.

Molly Smith, Rachel Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill for Black Label Media are producing, and are fully financing the project. "We are thrilled to be partnering with both Sony Pictures and STX International to bring this epic story to the big screen. JD Dillard is one of the most exciting filmmakers in the business and brings an extraordinary vision to this film in combination with our talented cast," Molly Smith said in a statement.

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired the film, and Sony Pictures will distribute in North America. STXinternational will also release Devotion in the UK and Ireland.

CAA Media Finance brokered the deal with STX.