Liam Neeson's 'A Willing Patriot' Nabbed by Open Road for U.S.

Liam Neeson - H 2015
AP Images

Liam Neeson - H 2015

The distributor is planning a wide release in 2016.

One day after picking up hot Cannes title Fifty Shades of Black, Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the Liam Neeson starrer A Willing Patriot.

The film, which was presented to buyers last month at the Cannes Film Festival, reunites Open Road with Neeson, who also starred in Open Road's The Grey.

Marc Butan's MadRiver Pictures is financing and producing the international thriller, which centers on a CIA agent (Neeson) who engages in an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with a sinister terrorist who's planning an imminent attack.

The film will shoot on location in South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia, with Open Road planning a wide release in 2016.

Martin Zandvliet (Land of Mine) will direct from a script by Jason Keller, who will produce, along with Film 360’s Guymon Casady and Darin Friedman, as well as Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari. Film 360’s Ben Forkner, Hollywood Gang’s Shannon Gaulding and MadRiver’s Ed Fee will oversee on behalf of their respective companies.

“Working with Liam Neeson on The Grey was a fantastic experience and a success in every way” said Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg. “A Willing Patriot, like The Grey, is top-notch character-driven film. We are thrilled to reteam with Liam and producer Marc Butan, with whom we are working on the upcoming release of Triple 9, on this international thriller.”

Added Butan: “We’re excited to be back in business with Open Road. They showed passion and enthusiasm for this film from day one, and we couldn’t have found a better home for it.”

A Willing Patriot drew intense interest at the Cannes Film Market once Neeson closed a deal to star. Sierra / Affinity is representing international rights to the film.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road by Ortenberg, Elliott Kleinberg and Peter Lawson. CAA, which reps Neeson and MadRiver, packaged and arranged financing for the film.