Toronto: Elisabeth Moss Punk Rock Drama 'Her Smell' Nabbed by Gunpowder & Sky
Van Toffler and Floris Bauer’s indie distribution company is planning a theatrical release for 2019.
Van Toffler’s Gunpowder & Sky has acquired domestic rights to Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell, the punk-rock ode chronicling the fall and rise of a ’90s riot grrrl played by Emmy-winning actress Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men).
The film marks the third collaboration between Moss and Perry, whose credits include Listen Up Philip and Queen of Earth. The deal comes on the heels of the pic’s opening-weekend screening at the New York Film Festival and follows its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Co-founded by Floris Bauer, Gunpowder & Sky is planning a theatrical release for Her Smell in 2019, followed by an awards-season push for Moss.
Perry's sixth feature examines the grit, grace and gravitas of a fictional rock star crashing down to earth into the harsh realities of midlife. Told across five scenes that span 10 years, the film follows Becky Something (Moss), a ’90s punk superstar who once filled arenas with her grungy all-female trio Something She. She now plays smaller venues while grappling with motherhood, exhausted bandmates, nervous record company executives and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom. When Becky's chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, face her demons and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success.
The cast also includes Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns), Dan Stevens (Legion), Agyness Deyn (Sunset Song) and Amber Heard (Justice League).
Her Smell was produced by Bow and Arrow Entertainment, which also produced Gunpowder & Sky’s breakout The Little Hours, and Faliro House Prods. Producers include Matthew Perniciaro, Michael Sherman, Adam Piotrowicz, Perry and Moss. Christos V. Konstantakopoulos executive produced.
Keegan DeWitt composed the score, while the film’s live performances feature original music by Alicia Bognanno of the grunge-pop band Bully and indie punk artist Anika Pyle.
“I am so intensely proud of this film and of everyone involved who stretched themselves beyond where we’d ever gone before artistically,” said Moss. “Having a home like Gunpowder & Sky is a perfect fit for the film and I’m really excited for people to go on this insane ride with us.”
Added Toffler: “Having Elisabeth — one of the finest actors of our time — portray a female icon in the world of punk music, accompanied by some of the best young female actors, and directed by the visionary Alex Ross Perry is a dream come true for Gunpowder & Sky … and personally for my failed musician soul.”
The acquisition keeps Gunpowder & Sky in the musical wheelhouse. Over the summer it released the Sundance breakout Hearts Beat Loud (DeWitt also was the composer on that film). Gunpowder & Sky also bought Lords of Chaos, which chronicles the birth of Mayhem, the notorious Norwegian black-metal band.
Endeavor Content negotiated the deal.