EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment has picked up the US rights to misanthropea psychological thriller that marks the first English feature film from BAFTA-winning Argentinian director Damián Szifron (Wild Stories). The indie distributor released the film, starring Emmy-nominated Shailene Woodley (Big little lies), Emmy-winner Ben Mendelsohn (The outsider) and Emmy-nominated Jovan Adepo (Babylon) for release exclusively in theaters nationwide in the first half of 2023.
Written by Szifron and Jonathan Wakeham, the film is set on New Year’s Eve in Baltimore when a talented but concerned police officer (Woodley) is recruited by the FBI’s chief investigator (Mendelsohn) to help profile and track down a mass murderer.
Pic is produced by Szifron, Woodley, Aaron Ryder and Stuart Manashil. Executive Producers are Glen Basner, Alison Cohen, Milan Popelka, Michael A. Jackman, Clay Pecorin, Russell Geyser, Russ Posternak and Jane Sinisi. FilmNation Entertainment and Rainmaker Films financed the film, with the former also handling worldwide sales.
“misanthrope is a film that rekindles the love of independent filmmaking, from direction to cinematography. Each actor’s performance is compelling and critical to the story being spun,” noted Peter Jarowey, Vertical Entertainment Partner. “We are thrilled to be partnering with FilmNation to bring this suspenseful thriller to screens everywhere.”
“We are thrilled that our film has found a home at Vertical and know this compelling story will entertain and resonate with moviegoers around the world,” added producers Ryder and Manashil in a joint statement.
Current and upcoming releases from Vertical Entertainment include Michael Jacobs’ Maybe I do with Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, William H. Macy, Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey; K Asher Levins The good side of a bad man with Emile Hirsch, Thomas Jane, Harvey Keitel and Ashley Benson; Darren Le Gallos Sam & Kate with Dustin Hoffman and Sissy Spacek; Hans Canosas The storied life of AJ Fikry, based on the New York Times bestseller by Gabrielle Zevin; John Patton Ford’s Sundance 2022 thriller Emily the criminal with Aubrey Plaza, who is nominated for a 2022 Gotham Award for Outstanding Lead Actress; the 2022 SXSW thriller Gone in the night, directed by Eli Horowitz and starring Winona Ryder and John Gallagher Jr.; Krystin Ver Linden’s Sundance 2022 image Alice, with Keke Palmer, Common, Gaius Charles and Jonny Lee Miller; and John Michael McDonaghs The Forgivenstarring Ralph Fiennes, Jessica Chastain and Matt Smith, which premiered at Tribeca in 2022.
Jarowey and SVP of Acquisitions Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal misanthrope on behalf of Vertical Entertainment, with Matt Aizenstadt of FilmNation Entertainment and David Spiegelman on behalf of the filmmakers.