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In its second high-profile pickup on the festival circuit, Saban Films has acquired U.S. rights to the multigenerational art heist film The Forger, starring John Travolta, for $2.5 million.
As buyers began to head out of town and the Toronto Film Festival’s market wound down, an unexpected bidding war emerged over the film; but in the end Saban prevailed.
Sources say The Weinstein Co. and A24 also were in the hunt for the Philip Martin movie, which also stars Christopher Plummer and Tye Sheridan.
Saban Films, the new venture backed by Haim Saban, is looking to buy prestige titles and star-driven vehicles. Saban Films president Bill Bromiley, who earlier in the year nabbed The Homesman at Cannes, and Ness Saban spearheaded the acquisition of The Forger, which makes its world premiere Sept. 12 in Toronto (the movie was screened privately for buyers earlier in the week).
The dramatic thriller centers on an expert art forger (Travolta) who is released from prison so that he can spend time with his dying son (Sheridan), but he and his father (Plummer) are coerced into participating in a major museum heist. Abigail Spencer and Jennifer Ehle co-star.
Code Entertainment’s Al Corley, Bart Rosenblatt, Eugene Musso and Rob Carliner produced the film, which also continues to draw interest from foreign buyers after it was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The Solution is handling international sales.
Executive producers include Jonathan Dana, Randi Michel, Myles Nestel, Gordon Bijelonic, Phil Stephenson, Linda Favila and Anson Downs.
WME, which co-repped The Forger with ICM Partners, is enjoying a busy Toronto, closing splashy deals for films such as the Samuel L. Jackson actioner Big Game (with EuropaCorp) and the Michael Douglas thriller The Reach (with Lionsgate).
Saban Films’ slate also includes Temple Hill Entertainment’s Tracers, starring Taylor Lautner and Marie Avgeropoulos. That acquisition was announced during Toronto.
Sept. 10, 3:20 p.m. Updated with official press release.
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