Focus Features Closes Deal for James Gray’s ‘Armageddon Time’ (Exclusive)

Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Anne Hathaway, Donald Sutherland and Cate Blanchett all star

Armageddon Time Cast James Gray
Getty Images

Focus Features has finalized its worldwide deal to distribute and finance “Armageddon Time,” the latest film from “Ad Astra” director James Gray that stars Cate Blanchett, Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Anne Hathaway and Donald Sutherland, the distributor announced Tuesday.

Gray wrote the script and will direct “Armageddon Time” based on Gray’s own childhood memories growing up in Queens. The film will tell a coming-of-age story that explores friendship and loyalty while America is poised to elect Ronald Reagan as president.

“Armageddon Time” is expected to begin production at the start of 2021 in New York.

“It’s really a dream come true for me, to do this kind of personal story, and to do it for such a wonderful partner in Focus Features. I could not ask for a better home for this film,” the director Gray said of “Armaggedon Time” in a statement.

James Gray, Anthony Katagas and RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira are producing the film. RT’s Lourenço Sant’Anna and Rodrigo Gutierrez are executive producing.

Focus Features will distribute “Armageddon Time” in the U.S. and Universal Pictures International will distribute internationally.

CAA Media Finance represented the film’s domestic distribution rights and arranged financing, and Wild Bunch International handled international sales and introduced the film to buyers at the Cannes Virtual Market.

Gray’s last film was the lonely, sparse, emotional and visually stunning sci-fi “Ad Astra” starring Brad Pitt that made $127.4 million worldwide last fall. RT Features’ credits include Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” and Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network.”

Focus recently released in premium video on demand “The High Note” and “Irresistible.” Also upcoming on its slate are Edgar Wright’s “Last Night in Soho,” which was pushed to 2021, Robin Wright’s directorial debut “Land,” Luke Greenfield’s “Half Brothers,” the Sundance breakout “Promising Young Woman” starring Carey Mulligan, and an untitled documentary on Anthony Bourdain from director Morgan Neville.

De Niro, Sutherland, Hathaway, Blanchett, Gray, and RT Features are represented by CAA. Hathaway is also represented by Management 360. Isaac is represented by WME and Inspire Entertainment.

News of Focus being in talks to distribute “Armageddon Time” was first reported by Deadline in early July.