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Gerard Butler Action Thriller ‘Kandahar’ Acquired by Open Road for U.S. Distribution

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh, the film will receive a wide release in 2023

Open Road Films has landed North American distribution rights to the action thriller “Kandahar,” starring Gerard Butler and directed by Ric Roman Waugh. The film will receive a wide domestic release in 2023.

First announced in 2020, “Kandahar” follows Tom Harris (Butler), an undercover CIA operative stationed in hostile territory in Afghanistan. When his mission is exposed, he and his Afghan translator (Navid Negahban) must fight their way past foreign spies and enemy forces on their way to an extraction point in Kandahar.

“Kandahar” sees Butler reteam with his “Angel Has Fallen” and “Greenland” director Ric Roman Waugh. He wrote the script with Mitchell LaFortune, based on LaFortune’s own experiences serving as a military intelligence officer during the Edward Snowden leaks.

The cast also includes Ali Fazal, Travis Fimmel and Bollywood star Elnaaz Norouzi.

The film is a joint production by G-BASE, Thunder Road, Capstone Studios and MBC Studios. Producers are Butler for G-BASE, Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk, Brendon Boyea, Alan Siegel, Capstone’s Christian Mercuri, MBC Studios’ Ali Jaafar and Scott LaStaiti. Executive producers are James Masciello, Matthew Sidari, Tom Ortenberg, David Haring, Ruzanna Kegeyan, Andrea Dimity, Jonathan Fuhrman, Peter Smith and Sam Barnett.

Financing was supplied by Mercuri’s Capstone Studios, who are also handling international sales for the film along with MBC Studios, the production and distribution arm of MBC Group.

“What made Mitch LaFortune’s visceral script so compelling and unique for me is its authenticity and how he humanizes not just our heroes, but all the characters portrayed in a region that’s been locked in a perpetual cycle of violence,” Waugh said.

Open Road Films’ Tom Ortenberg, who made the announcement, added: “‘Kandahar’ is an adrenaline ride made for the big screen. Gerry, Ric, the G-BASE team and Thunder Road have outdone themselves with this pulse-pounding actioner that our team is looking forward to bringing to audiences everywhere.”

CAA and Capstone Global negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. Matthew Sidari negotiated and closed the deal on behalf of Open Road Films.

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