In her 5-star Sundance review, Heather Wixson wrote that Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor is "...one of the most brazen films to come out of Sundance this year," and following its well-received festival screenings, NEON has acquired the film for US distribution, with Well Go USA overseeing the movie's home entertainment release.
A release date for Possessor will be announced at a future time. We'll be sure to keep Daily Dead readers updated on future announcements, and in the meantime we have the official press release with additional details, and be sure to read Heather Wixson's Sundance coverage of the film, including her interviews with Cronenberg and co-stars Andrea Riseborough and Christopher Abbott.
Press Release: NEW YORK, NY | March 27, 2020 – NEON announced today that they have acquired U.S. rights to Brandon Cronenberg’s POSSESSOR, the sci-fi thriller starring Andrea Riseborough (OBLIVION, and BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE), Christopher Abbott (JAMES WHITE), Tuppence Middleton (THE IMITATION GAME), with Sean Bean (THE LORD OF THE RINGS franchise) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (THE HATEFUL EIGHT). POSSESSOR, which made its World Premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, received critical acclaim with critics describing the film as “a surreal fever dream” and “unnervingly good at getting under your skin.”
POSSESSOR follows corporate agent Tasya Vos (Riseborough) who works for a secretive organization that uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies - ultimately driving them to commit assassinations for high-paying clients.
POSSESSOR marks Cronenberg’s second feature film. His debut ANTIVIRAL premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and went on to win a number of awards, including Best Canadian First Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and Best New Director at the Sitges Film Festival.
Brandon Cronenberg said: “NEON is a hugely exciting distributor, and I’ve been eager to work with them for a while now. I’m thrilled they are taking on POSSESSOR in collaboration with Well Go USA, who made production of the film possible.”
The film is a Canadian/UK co-production and produced by Niv Fichman, Kevin Krikst, and Fraser Ash for Rhombus Media and Andy Starke for Rook Films. Executive producers are: Arclight Films’ Gary Hamilton, Ryan Hamilton and Ying Ye; Steven Squillante and David U. Lee of Leeding Media; Noah Segal and Adrian Love of Elevation Pictures; Simon Williams, Daniel Negret, and Vaishali Mistry of Ingenious Media; Dave Bishop; Tony Roman; and Doris Pfardrescher from Well Go USA. POSSESSOR is an Ingenious Media presentation, produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates, in association with Arclight Films and Particular Crowd. Elevation Pictures will release the film in Canada.
Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for NEON with Doris Pfardrescher at Well Go USA, and CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers. Arclight Films is handling the worldwide rights and co-repped the US rights. POSSESSOR will be released by NEON, with plans to be announced at a later date. Well Go USA will handle the home entertainment release.
A little less than 3 years since inception, NEON has garnered 12 Oscar nominations and already grossed over $150M at the Box Office. It continues to push boundaries and take creative risks on bold cinema such as Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which made history winning four Academy Awards®, becoming the first non-English-language film to claim Best Picture. The film, which also unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, has amassed over $53M at the domestic box office and broke multiple records including highest per screen average of the year and highest per screen average for a foreign language film of all time. Other noteworthy NEON releases include: Double Oscar nominee Honeyland; Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, 2019's highest grossing documentary with a worldwide gross of $16M; Tim Wardle's Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling which surpassed $13M at the box office; and Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, which garnered multiple Academy Award® nominations, one win for Allison Janney and amassed over $30M in domestic box office.
The company continues to be an impressive force at festivals, with recent acquisitions such as Max Barbakow’s sought after Palm Springs starring Andy Samberg, which NEON acquired with Hulu, Josephine Decker’s Shirley starring Elisabeth Moss, and the documentary Gunda directed by Viktor Kossakovsky and executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix. Recent releases include: the critically acclaimed Cannes hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes® and Independent Spirit Awards; Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov’s award-winning and record-breaking Honeyland, which is the first non-fiction feature to land Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film in the same year; Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thriller Monos (the Colombian selection for the Academy Awards®); Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s horror film The Lodge starring Riley Keough; Julius Onah’s Luce starring Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer; Tom Harper’s Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley; John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm; Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency starring Academy Award® Nominee Alfre Woodard; and the electrifying documentary about Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace.
After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin's and Micah Green's strategic venture) partnered with NEON's Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.
[Photo Credit: Above photo by Karim Hussain.]