By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

ANDREA RISEBOROUGH AND CHRISTOPHER ABBOTT INHABIT BRANDON CRONENBERG’S SCI-FI THRILLER ‘POSSESSOR’

Cannes, France Andrea Riseborough (upcoming NancyThe Death of StalinBirdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)) and Christopher Abbott (upcoming Catch-22It Comes At NightJames White) are set to star in Brandon Cronenberg’s (Antiviral) anticipated sophomore feature film Possessor, it was announced today by producers Fraser Ash (Closet MonsterEnemy), Niv Fichman (The Red ViolinHobo With A Shotgun), and Kevin Krikst (Closet MonsterInto the Forest) of Rhombus Media, and Andy Starke (Free FireKill List) of Rook Films.

Cronenberg is directing from a script he wrote about Tasya Vos (Riseborough), an agent for a secretive organization who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people’s bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of high-paying clients. But something goes wrong on a routine job, and she soon finds herself trapped in the mind of an unwitting suspect (Abbott) whose appetite for violence turns out to rival her own.

Possessor is produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Elevation Pictures will distribute the film in Canada.

Arclight’s Gary Hamilton and Ryan Hamilton will Executive Produce, alongside Steven Squillante and David U. Lee of Leeding Media, Noah Segal and Adrian Love of Elevation Pictures, and Tony Roman.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the producers of Possessor to represent this incredible new project from Brandon Cronenberg. Brandon has a superb talent and creative vision for storytelling with rich ideas and concepts,” commented Gary Hamilton, Chairman of Arclight Films. “We are eager to present this visceral, high-concept project to our buyers at the market. I have no doubt our buyers will be enthusiastic to get their hands on it.”

“Andrea and Chris are among the most exciting and versatile actors working today and are perfectly suited to bring Brandon’s characters to life,” says producer Niv Fichman. “We’re also thrilled to partner with Arclight and Leeding – they’re world class collaborators who are as passionate about Brandon’s unique vision as we are.”

Brandon Cronenberg’s debut feature film, the sci-fi thriller Antiviral, was in competition for the Cannes Film Festival’s Golden Camera and Un Certain Regard award. The film won Best Canadian First Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival for its “ambitious commentary and visual sophistication.”

Riseborough is upcoming in Nancy a film she produced as well.  She is currently in production on Zero Zero ZeroThe Secrets from the Russian Tea Room and The Grudge. She is also upcoming in Cannes Film Festival Directors Fortnight selection Mandy opposite Nicolas Cage.  She recently starred in Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Academy Award winning Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), the BAFTA nominated The Death of Stalin, Fox Searchlight’s Battle of the Sexes, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, and the sci-fi action thrillerOblivion opposite Tom Cruise. She has starred on the small screen in Netflix’s popular series BloodlineBlack Mirror, and National Treasure among many others.

Abbott has starred in such films Josh Mond’s James White for which he was nominated as Best Male Lead for an Independent Spirit Award and a Gotham Independent Film Award, Trey Edward Shults’ It Comes at Night opposite Joel Edgerton and Riley Keough and Sean Durkin’s dramatic thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene opposite Elizabeth Olsen. He has also starred in the Golden Globe nominated series The Sinner. He can next be seen in three films this Fall including Damian Chazell’s First Man opposite Ryan Gosling, Tyrel for director Sebastian Silva and Piercing opposite Mia Wasikowska for director Nicolas Pesce. Abbott is currently in production as the male lead in the upcoming George Clooney directed Hulu series Catch-22 opposite Clooney, Kyle Chandler and Hugh Laurie.

Riseborough is repped by CAA, Independent Talent Group, Untitled Entertainment, and attorney Patti Felker. Abbott is also repped by CAA and Management 360. Cronenberg is represented by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates and ICM Partners.

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ABOUT RHOMBUS MEDIA

Rhombus Media is an internationally renowned producer of feature films and television drama.  Since its inception in 1979, the company has released over 200 productions and has received literally hundreds of awards, including numerous Genies, Geminis, Canadian Screen Awards, several Emmys, and an Oscar. Some of the company’s more notable projects include Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn GouldThe Red ViolinLast NightCleanBlindnessHobo With A ShotgunAntiviral, and Enemy. Rhombus’ more recent films include Patricia Rozema’s Into The Forest, starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood; Paul Gross’ Hyena Road, starring Gross and Rossif Sutherland; Pedro Morelli’s Zoom, starring Gael García Bernal, Alison Pill and Jason Priestley; and Stephen Dunn’s Closet Monster, starring Connor Jessup and Isabella Rossellini. All four films had their world premieres at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, with Closet Monster taking home the prize for Best Canadian Feature Film. Rhombus’ latest film The Man Who Invented Christmas, a Charles Dickens biopic starring Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce, was released throughout North America in November 2017. For more information, please visit www.rhombusmedia.com.

 

ABOUT ROOK FILMS

Rook Films was formed in 2008 by producer Andy Starke and director Ben Wheatley. Rook has made 6 films with Wheatley including, Free Fire, which won the Midnight Madness Audience Award at its world premiere at TIFF 2016 and was the closing night gala at LFF16. Jim Hosking’s cult classic The Greasy Strangler premiered at the Sundance Film festival and won BIFA and Empire awards for Best Comedy. His latest feature An Evening with Beverly Luff Linnwill be released by Universal in 2018. Peter Strickland’s The Duke of Burgundy was the best reviewed film at TIFF 15 and his new film IN FABRIC will be completed in 2018. Rook has a slate of movies and television in production and development with directors and writers Ashim Ahluwalia, Justin Anderson, Brandon Cronenberg, Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Kier-La Janisse, Richard Littler and Ben Rivers.

 

ABOUT ARCLIGHT FILMS

Arclight Films is one of the world’s leading international sales companies for theatrical, television and home entertainment. Arclight Films has sold over 300 motion pictures including the Best Picture Oscar® winner Crash, and Golden Globe® Best Picture Nominee Bobby and Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto and Ethan Hawke.

Some of the latest additions to the Arclight Films’ slate include First Reformed an official selection at the 2017 Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival to be released theatrically on May 18, 2018 by A24, starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, directed and written by Paul Schrader, Hotel Mumbai starring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer, the successful biopicJungle starring Daniel Radcliffe released recently by eOne and the big budget Chinese co-production Killer 10 to be directed by Phillip Noyce.

Arclight’s past films include  2016 Official Cannes Directors’ Fortnight selection Dog Eat Dog starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, The Confirmation starring Clive Owen and Maria Bello, directed by Academy Award-winner Bob Nelson (Nebraska), 2016 Sundance Official Selection Frank & Lola starring Imogen Poots and Michael Shannon, Predestination starring Ethan Hawke released through Sony Pictures, Last Knights starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman,  Paper Planes starring Sam Worthington, and Shangri-La Suite starring Emily Browning and Luke Grimes.

Arclight Films additionally encompasses subsidiary labels Darclight Films, the edgy genre-driven division of the company whose films include the worldwide horror hits Wolf CreekWolf Creek 2 and action thriller Bait 3D (the highest grossing Australian film in the history of Chinese cinema), and Easternlight, a specialty arm showcasing Asian cinema with the largest film library of any non-Asian-based indie film label. Films sold under the Easternlight banner include the worldwide blockbuster Forbidden Kingdom starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, 14 Blades starring Donnie Yen, and legendary auteur Chen Kaige’s Sacrifice.

The latest additions to Easternlight include Triple Threat starring Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen and Celina Jade, Guardians Of The Tomb starring Kellen Lutz and Bingbing Li, Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal starring Bingbing Li, Wolf Warrior starring Wu Jing (which opened #1 at the Chinese Box Office, earning more than $32.5M in one weekend) Outcast starring Nicolas Cage, Special Id starring Donnie Yen, and Badges Of Fury.

Arclight Films maintains a presence at all major motion picture and television festivals and markets with offices in Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong, Beijing and Toronto. For more information on Arclight Films please visit www.arclightfilms.com.

ABOUT LEEDING MEDIA

Leeding Media is an international film and television company that serves as a bridge between the U.S. and Chinese entertainment industries. With offices in Beijing and Los Angeles, the company focuses on three main areas: acquiring rights to films for distribution in China; independent film production; and working with American studios, filmmakers and rights holders as well as Chinese investors, distributors and media companies to identify, negotiate and execute mutually beneficial partnerships and co-productions.

Led by founder and CEO David U. Lee and partner and COO Steven Squillante, Leeding Media is the premier independent aggregator and distributor of international films in China. In collaboration with its partners, Leeding Media is currently in production on the comedy drama, Richard Says Goodbye, starring Johnny Depp, has theatrically marketed 12 feature films and controls exclusive Chinese digital distribution rights to nearly 500 titles. These include such acclaimed films as Best Picture Oscar®-winner Million Dollar BabyWhiplash,Nightcrawler, RushBobbyA Single Man and Kinsey, as well as blockbusters including the Divergent series, Ender’s Game, Ghost Rider 2,Underworld, Malcolm X, GI Jane and The Wedding Planner.

In 2014, the company helped orchestrate the launch of groundbreaking Chinese subscription streaming service Lionsgate Entertainment World, a joint venture between Lionsgate and China’s Alibaba Group.

In November 2016, Leeding Media announced a significant investment from China’s WinDigital Investment Fund, enabling it to increase its activities in licensing, co-financing, and producing films for both the Chinese and global markets.

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