Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson Thriller ‘A Bigger Splash’ Sells to Fox Searchlight

Luca Guadagnino directed the movie, which co-stars Tilda Swinton and Matthias Schoenaerts

Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to Luca Guadagnino’s thriller “A Bigger Splash,” which stars Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton from the distributor’s “Grand Budapest Hotel” as well as “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson and Matthias Schoenaerts from Fox Searchlight’s “The Drop.”

Fox Searchlight will release the film later this year, it was announced Thursday by Fox Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley.

In “A Bigger Splash,” the lives of a high profile couple, a famous rock star and a filmmaker (Schoenaerts and Swinton), vacationing and recovering on the idyllic sun-drenched and remote Italian island of Pantelleria are disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and his daughter (Fiennes and Johnson) — creating a whirlwind of jealousy, passion and ultimate danger for everyone involved.

David Kajganich (“True Story”) wrote the film, which Guadagnino (“I Am Love”) produced with Michael Costigan. “A Bigger Splash” was fully financed by Studiocanal, which is handling international sales and will distribute the film in its territories France, UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand.

“The film is a rich and enigmatic thriller and we look forward to bringing Luca’s vision to American audiences later this year.  And we have the added joy of working with old friends — Ralph, Tilda, and Matthias,” Utley and Gilula said in a joint statement.

“I am honored that Fox Searchlight has chosen to distribute ‘A Bigger Splash’ in the states. Tilda, Dakota, Ralph, and Matthias together with the rest of our cast have brought to life what we feel and hope will be an unforgettable movie going experience based on the brilliant script by Dave Kajganich,” said Guadagnino.

“I am thrilled that Searchlight is our partner on Luca Guadagnino’s much anticipated first English language film after ‘I Am Love.’ This is an edgy, sexy, dangerous film with an extraordinary cast, and we know Searchlight embraces and knows how to reach a wide audience with original, filmmaker driven films,” added Costigan.

“We are very pleased to be in business with Fox Searchlight on Luca Guadagnino’s new film. I believe we have found the perfect partner to take care of this very unique glamorous thriller,” said Olivier Courson, chairman and CEO of Studiocanal.

The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s executive VP of worldwide acquisitions Tony Safford, senior VP of business affairs Megan O’Brien and senior VP of acquisitions & co-productions Ray Strache and Anna Marsh, head of international sales at Studiocanal.