Jessica Chastain western Woman Walks Ahead acquired by A24 & DIRECTV
A24 and DIRECTV have acquired U.S. rights to the Jessica Chastain western drama Woman Walks Ahead. The movie made its world premiere to a strong reception at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. It is directed by Susanna White (Our Kind of Traitor, Generation Kill), and co-stars Sam Rockwell, Michael Greyeyes, Ciaran Hinds, and Bill Camp. It is produced by Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Erika Olde, Richard Solomon, and Andrea Calderwood. It’s a Bedford Falls and Black Bicycle Entertainment production, in association with IM Global, Potboiler Productions and LipSync. The screenplay is by Stephen Knight (Locke, Eastern Promises, Dirty Pretty Things). A24 and DIRECTV are planning a 2018 release, in which A24 will give the film a national theatrical roll out in all major markets.
Inspired by true events, Woman Walks Ahead follows Catherine Weldon, a widowed artist from New York in the 1880s, who travelled to North Dakota to paint a portrait of Chief Sitting Bull. After some initial tension, the two strike up an improbable but deeply committed friendship, joining forces to take on the U.S. government in a pivotal battle for Native American land rights. The movie features great classical storytelling but also a completely revisionist portrait of the American West, unfolding a unique and compelling story through the eyes of an unflappable, singularly determined female protagonist and a three dimensional and deeply heroic Native American leader. The filmmakers collaborated closely with the Native American community throughout production to ensure the individuals and culture portrayed in the film were authentic and accurate.
About the acquisition, A24 said, “We are incredibly excited to be bringing the Woman Walks Ahead out into the world. Susanna has crafted a rousing, deeply human film that is at once a fascinating piece of history and a remarkably relevant and gripping look at human rights and the courage it takes to stand up for what you believe in. We are so happy to be working with our amazing partners at DIRECTV to give this extraordinary film the platform and profile it deserves.”
Filmmaker Susanna White said, “I am so thrilled to have A24 release Woman Walks Ahead. They are such a creative and imaginative company and a great fit for the movie.”
The acquisition of Woman Walks Ahead marks another exciting step in A24’s partnership with DIRECTV, which hit a new peak at the recently completed Toronto International Film Festival. The companies jointly acquired acclaimed and high-profile world premieres such as The Children Act, starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci and directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris), as well as festival favorite 1%, a gripping Australian biker gang thriller from up-and-coming filmmaker Stephen McCallum. They also closed a deal at Toronto for the electrifying thriller Hot Summer Nights, starring one the year’s biggest breakout stars, Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird).