In what amounts to the first major deal of the Toronto International Film Festival, Bleecker Street has acquired U.S. rights to Gavin Hood‘s drone thriller “Eye in the Sky” from Entertainment One, the company announced Monday.
The timely film stars Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine Powell, a UK-based military officer, who is remotely commanding a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya. The missions quickly escalates when news of a deadly suicide mission spreads and American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is conflicted when a nine-year old girl walks into the kill zone. With a civilian life at stake and the clock ticking to stop the terrorist attack, “Eye in the Sky” presents an intense political drama on the edge of modern warfare and human morality.
Written by Guy Hibbert, the film also stars Barkhad Abdi, Alan Rickman, Iain Glen, and Phoebe Fox. “Eye in the Sky” was produced by Colin Firth and Ged Doherty’s Raindog Films and eOne, which also handled international sales and will directly distribute the film in Canada, the UK, Spain, Benelux and Australia/New Zealand. David Lancaster also served as a producer on the film.
“When I saw this film in Toronto, I knew we had to have it. The tension created within each scene by Gavin Hood and the stellar performances by Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul was so palpable, that I was on gripped by every moment of the movie,” said Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street.
“We’re very excited to continue our relationship with Andrew and our friends at Bleecker Street. This is a milestone film for us and we are thrilled to have a partner with the experience and relationships to bring this this bold and topical film to U.S. audiences,” added Xavier Marchand, president of eOne Features.
“After the incredible audience and industry reactions to the Toronto premiere, we are delighted to be partnering with Bleecker for the U.S. release. Like eOne, they are a company who is truly passionate about this film,” Firth and Doherty said in a joint statement.
The deal was negotiated between Kent Sanderson of Bleecker Street with Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street and WME Global and Marchand for eOne.