Cannes Deals: FilmDistrict Buys Bruce Willis, Sci-Fi ‘Looper’

The new indie distributor has bought the U.S. rights to the futuristic thriller by writer-director Rian Johnson film

The independent film distributor FilmDistrict has bought the rights to the time-travel, science fiction film "Looper," starring Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the studio confirmed on Sunday.

The film will be released through FilmDistrict’s relationship with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Tri Star label.  

The film, written and directed by Rian Johnson ("The Brothers Bloom") and which also stars Paul Dano, is currently in post-production. It is being produced by Ram Bergman through Jim Stern's Endgame Entertainment Pictures.

Peter Schlessel, CEO of FilmDistrict said: “We have been chasing Looper for six months and it is something my entire team agreed would be a great film for us to distribute.  The fact that our friends at Sony feel the same makes it even more exciting.” 

The purchase follows a moderate level of buying at the festival, where indie distributors are bidding over plenty of films that are not in the festival, like this one. FilmDistrict has already bought "Playing the Field," with Gerard Butler.

Willis and Gordon-Levitt play the same character at different points in time. The film is set in the future, when a crime syndicate sends its victims back in time to be killed and disposed of. Gordon-Levitt plays the killer, but who then learns that one target, Willis, is a future version of himself.

Here's the news release, just out:

Endgame Entertainment and FilmDistrict are partnering on the theatrical release of Rian Johnson’s Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt. The film will be released in the U.S. through FilmDistrict’s relationship with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Tri Star label.  With a screenplay written and directed by Rian Johnson, the film is produced by Ram Bergman, Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern and in association with DMG. Endgame Entertainment’s Doug E. Hansen is executive producing. 
 
“Looper is our second collaboration with Rian and Ram and it’s truly been a thrilling ride,” stated Endgame Entertainment CEO James D. Stern. “We look forward to continuing the journey with Sony and Peter in delivering this commercial thriller to audiences everywhere.”
 
Peter Schlessel, CEO of FilmDistrict said: “We have been chasing Looper for six months and it is something my entire team agreed would be a great film for us
to distribute.  The fact that our friends at Sony feel the same makes it even more exciting.”
                                          
Producer Ram Bergman said: “We are very excited to be working with the entire team at Sony and Peter.  District 9 was brilliant and Rian, Jim and I had this and Sony in mind as the group we wanted to release Looper.” 
 
Looper is a time-travel action thriller involves a killer (Gordon-Levitt) who works for the mob of the future. He, along with other so-called Loopers, dispose of people that are sent from the future. When he recognizes one victim as his future self (Willis), he hesitates, letting the man escape. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales on Looper.
 
CAA negotiated the deal on behalf of Endgame Entertainment and Adrian Alperovich, President of Acquisitions negotiated on behalf FilmDistrict.