Showtime and Paramount Home Entertainment have acquired the U.S. rights to director Tarik Saleh’s thriller “The Contractor” — and released the first trailer for a film that reteams Chris Pine and Ben Foster from Taylor Sheridan’s “Hell or High Water.”
As with the recent acquisition of “Queenpins,” which was also sold by the financially troubled indie studio STXfilms, “The Contractor” will get a limited theatrical release from Paramount on April 1 along with a simultaneous release on premium video-on-demand platforms. The film will also stream on Showtime and Paramount+ later this year.
Pine stars as as Special Forces Sergeant James Harper, who is involuntarily discharged from the Army and cut off from his pension. In debt, out of options and desperate to provide for his family, Harper contracts with a private underground military force. When the very first assignment goes awry, the elite soldier finds himself caught in a dangerous conspiracy and on the run for his life.
The film, which was shot on location in the U.S., Germany, and Romania, also stars Gillian Jacobs, Kiefer Sutherland, Eddie Marsan, Fares Fares, Nina Hoss, and Amira Casar.
J.P. Davis (“The Neighbor”) wrote the screenplay. Thunder Road Film’s Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee produced, with 30West fully financing the film. 30West’s Dan Friedkin, Micah Green, and Dan Steinman are executive producers along with Chris Pine, Jonathan Fuhrman, Tom Lassally, Josh Bratman and Esther Hornstein of Thunder Road Films.
The sale by STXfilms, which acquired U.S. rights to “The Contractor” a year ago, comes as the financially struggling studio has been exploring sale options to pay down extensive debt.
Last month, Lionsgate was exploring acquiring some or all of STX Entertainment after the “Hustlers” studio already was in the midst of a planned sale to Najafi Companies for $173 million, individuals with knowledge of the talks told TheWrap. In an SEC filing, ErosSTX confirmed that the company had received another offer under the go-shop process that was previously outlined in the initial terms of the sale, but did not name Lionsgate as the potential buyer. (Reps for both Lionsgate and STX declined to comment.)