Prison Drama 'Papillon' Picked Up by Bleecker Street

Courtesy of TIFF
'Papillon'

The film stars Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek.

Bleecker Street has acquired U.S. distribution rights to director Michael Noer’s Papillon, the prison drama starring Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek that premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Based on the books Papillon and Banco by Henri Charriere, the film follows the story of Henri “Papillon” Charrière, played by Hunnam, a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island, where he forms an unlikely alliance with convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega, played by Malek.

“Michael and the production team have created an epic retelling of Henri Charrière’s original autobiography,” Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen said Tuesday in announcing the acquisition. “It’s a new vision of determination and redemption."

Joey McFarland, David Koplan, Ram Bergman and Roger Corbi produced the film. The deal was negotiated between Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers. 

Charrière’s life behind bars was previously brought to the big screen in 1973’s Papillon, starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman and directed by Franklin Schaffner.