The latest package to be put together for sale at next week’s European Film Market in Berlin is Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland’s latest film FINEST KIND, which has attached Jake Gyllenhaal, Baby Driver star Ansel Elgort and actor/singer Zendaya.
The crime-thriller from the Oscar-winning filmmaker is about two brothers, played by Gyllenhaal and Elgort, who make a deal with a crime syndicate that gets them drawn into the Boston underworld, which puts their bond to the test.
Finest Kind will be produced by Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff of Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment (Denial, The Soloist), as well as Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas, along with Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker for their Nine Stories banner.
30WEST is financing the film with STXinternational handling international distribution for the film, introducing it to potential buyers at the upcoming European Film Market. STXinternational will also distribute the film in the UK and Ireland, while CAA and Endeavor Content are handling the U.S. rights for 30WEST.
Repped by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman, Helgeland won an Oscar for writing the late Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential in 1998, which he followed with a second nomination for writing Clint Eatwood’s Mystic River. Helgeland has directed five films including Mel Gibson’s Payback, the late Heath Ledger’s A Knight’s Tale and The Order and more recently, the Jackie Robinson drama 42 and the Tom Hardy Kray Brothers crime-drama Legend in 2015.
Finest Kind would be the second recent film by Gyllenhaal made in Boston after 2017’s Stronger, a movie he co-produced for which he deserved a second Oscar nomination after 2006’s Brokeback Mountain. Gyllenhaal starred opposite Carey Mulligan in Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife, which just premiered at Sundance last month, and he has Jacques Audiard’s English language debut The Sisters Brothers and Luca Guadagnino’s Rio on his upcoming slate.
Although it hasn’t been reported whom 21-year-old Zendaya will play in the film, she’s coming off two huge hits in Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and Fox’s The Greatest Showman, so she’s clearly going to be more focused on acting for a while. She has the Warner Bros’ animated feature Smallfoot and the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming in the cards for early 2018.
Elgort is also coming off a good year as the lead in Edgar Wright’s action-romance-comedy Baby Driver, which grossed over $100 million domestically and for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. He is currently filming The Goldfinch for John Crowley and Warner Bros.
In a statement, producer Gary Foster said, “Brian and I have dreamed about making this film together for a long time. Brian’s directorial vision and powerful screenplay which draws on his experiences growing up in the tough town of New Bedfrod, Mass., has attracted a stellar cast lead by Jake, Ansel and Zendaya. I couldn’t be more thrilled!”
Imperative Entertainment, 30WEST and STXinternational previously joined forces for Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, for which Christopher Plummer received an Oscar nomination as the film was distributed in the U.S. by TriStar Pictures with STXinternational distributing internationally through its overseas partners.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor