The ever-busy actor James Franco has two projects making big moves today. First up, science fiction-thriller KIN has made a big pre-buy deal with Lionsgate at TIFF, and second, the Afghanistan war drama BURN COUNTRY is been picked up by Samuel Goldwyn and Orion Pictures, landing a December 9 theatrical and VOD release.
Kin is based on the short film Bag Man which premiered at SXSW 2015 and centers on recently released ex-con (Jack Reynor) and his adopted brother who go on the run. They are chased by a vengeful criminal (Franco), the feds, and a cadre of otherworldly soldiers. Their only protection is a found weapon of mysterious ancestry. Joining Reynor and Franco are Dennis Quaid, who plays the father of the siblings, and Zoe Kravitz, as a young woman who joins them on the run.
The film, which is financed by No Trace Camping, is in pre-production in Toronto, with Jonathan and Josh Baker directing with a script from Daniel Casey. 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen produce with Jeff Arkuss, David Gross, and Jesse Shapira. The deal for this pre-buy came together very quickly through WME Global and Good Universe, who also had a presentation scheduled for today but was cancelled as the bidding took off.
Burn Country stars Dominic Rains as Osman, an Afghan journalist trying to make sense of a small California town while working as a local crime writer. The cast also includes Franco, Melissa Leo, Rachel Brosnahan, and Thomas Jay Ryan.
The film is also known as The Fixer, its title when it debuted at Tribeca. Ian Olds helmed the project with a script he wrote with Paul Felton. ACE Productions produced the project in association with Night & Day Pictures, Rabbit Bandini Productions, Gigi Films, Amphora Pictures, Green Street Film Company, Heart-Headed Productions, RAA Ventures, and Relic Pictures. The deal was handled by CAA and Mongrel International will be selling the international rights at TIFF.