Luc Besson Revenge Thriller ‘DogMan’ Acquired By Briarcliff; Early 2024 Release For Venice Fest Favorite
EXCLUSIVE: Briarcliff Entertainment has closed a deal for U.S. distribution rights to DogMan, the Luc Besson-directed revenge thriller that stars Caleb Landry Jones. A first quarter 2024 theatrical release is the plan for a film that made its world premiere this fall at the Venice Film Festival.
Besson wrote the script and Jones stars as an unusual man named Douglas who, having just been arrested, opens his heart to tell the moving story of his life. As a survivor of childhood trauma at the hands of a violent father who forced him to live in the family kennel, Douglas develops a bond with dogs that defies understanding. Out of this hell, he grows to discover love, theatre, and cabaret, but also the injustice and disillusionment of the human world. In a life that’s been broken a thousand times, only the love of his dogs can bring salvation. That route is filled with vengeance and fury along the way.
For Besson, the French filmmaker responsible for such action hits as The Professional, La Femme Nikita, Taken and Lucy, DogMan marks his return to form after a rough half decade that included the disappointment of his 2017 tentpole Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the demise of his French studio EuropaCorp, and a long-running legal entanglement relating to a rape allegation, of which he was recently cleared. The Venice audience response to DogMan was exceptional; a six-minute standing ovation in the Palazzo del Cinema moved the filmmaker to tears.
The film costars Jojo T. Gibbs (Past Lives, Fresh) and Christopher Denham (Argo, Oppenheimer). Pic is produced by Virginie Besson-Silla and Steve Rabineau.
Briarcliff CEO Tom Ortenberg tells Deadline the plan is to release the film in association with Russell Geyser and Clay Pecorin’s Rainmaker Films in theatres nationwide in Q1, 2024.
“Our team at Briarcliff is thrilled to be working with the incredibly talented Luc Besson,” said Ortenberg. “Luc’s creative brilliance and heartfelt storytelling makes DogMan an unforgettable moviegoing experience with Caleb Landry Jones perfectly cast as DogMan.”
Ortenberg and Jessica Rose negotiated for Briarcliff Entertainment with Gregoire Melin at Kinology on behalf of the filmmakers.
In partnership with Open Road Films, which Ortenberg relaunched and was formerly the founding CEO, Briarcliff recently opened Marlowe, starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger and Jessica Lange, and Gerard Butler’s actioner Kandahar directed by Ric Roman Waugh. Briarcliff also recently released baseball biopic The Hill and will open Gerard Butler’s Den of Thieves 2: Pantera and crime thriller Sovereign starring Nick Offerman, Dennis Quaid and Jacob Tremblay in 2024.
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