Saban Films will take a whack at releasing Craig William Macneill’s racy period drama LIZZIE in theaters this summer in partnership with Roadside Attractions, the distributor announced Thursday.
The film stars Oscar-nominated actress Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry) as the infamous axe murderess Lizzie Borden, and Kristen Stewart as the Borden family’s live-in housemaid. Lizzie made its world premiere in competition on Friday night at Sundance, where it drew mixed reviews.
Written by Bryce Kass and based on the unsolved, much-speculated-about murders of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Borden, Lizzie explores the inner workings of the Borden household leading up to the murders, as well as their immediate aftermath. Lizzie was an unmarried, 32-year-old woman when she was accused of the brutal crimes, but back in the 1890s, not many people believed women were capable of such a murder.
The film co-stars Kim Dickens (Gone Girl), Denis O’Hare (Dallas Buyers Club), Jeff Perry (Scandal), Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter) and Jamey Sheridan (Spotlight).
In addition to playing the title character, Sevigny also produced Lizzie with Naomi Despres and Liz Destro, as it has long been a passion project for the actress. The film was executive produced by Elizabeth Stillwell, Roxanne Fie Anderson, and Edward J. Anderson of Powder Hound Pictures.
“I couldn’t be happier than to partner with Saban Films and Roadside on Lizzie, a film that has been a labor of love for me for over 10 years. I am thrilled for theatre goers to see this incredible tale,” said Sevigny.
“Chloë and Kristen are two of the most esteemed actresses of our time. Their performances in Lizzie are evocative and gripping, and we’re proud to be championing this film,” said Bill Bromiley of Saban Films.
“Chloë and Kristen make these roles their own and they slay in every sense of the word. Craig delivered a tense period thriller and we are excited to partner with our friends at Saban,” said Roadside Attractions co-founders Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff.
Saban Films and Roadside Attractions previously collaborated on Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman starring Hilary Swank, and Tom Tykwer’s A Hologram For the King starring Tom Hanks.
Ness Saban and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for North American rights on behalf of Saban Films, with Endeavor Content and Gersh, which jointly represented the U.S. rights.
Saban Films’ upcoming releases include Alexandre Moors’ war drama The Yellow Birds, which premiered at Sundance last year and stars Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich, Toni Collette, Jason Patric, Jack Huston and Jennifer Aniston. The company is also involved with 2018 titles such as Dark Crimes starring Jim Carrey, Small Town Crime starring John Hawkes, and Roland Joffe’s The Forgiven starring Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief