Oh happy day. Great news in my inbox this morning and if I subscribed to Screendaily then I would share with you all the pretty words they wrote about Magnet Releasing picking up the US rights for Nicolas Winding Refn's Bronson. Magnet and Refn already have a relationship as they also released his Pusher trilogy in 2006 which all of you should already have and own and have had watched over and over and over again.
Charlie Bronson, Britain’s most violent prisoner and the antihero of Nicolas Winding Refn’s tour de force, is a man with a calling. He just needed jail time to find it. In 1974, Charlie robs a post office and draws a seven-year sentence. But stone walls do not a prison make. His “hotel room” becomes an incubator for his art, which is violence. Taking a perverse glee in fighting, he’s sent to a mental institution, where, drugged and drooling, he still musters defiance. His eventual release is short lived, and he returns to jail. Placed in an art class, Charlie creates his masterpiece. It is not a painting. Though based on a real person, Bronson is less a biopic than a virtuosic explosion of style. With twisted imagery, the music of Wagner and Pet Shop Boys, and a stunning performance by Tom Hardy, Refn creates an aesthetic that is both complicit in Charlie’s violence but also theatrical. Charlie narrates his own story before an audience, and the movie is just an extension of this burlesque staging. Our moral compass reeling, we’re tempted to see him as an animal, but violence is simply the fullest expression of his identity. Overjoyed by his fame and ever-increasing capacity for harm, Charlie walks the cellblock beaming with pride. He has become somebody. He is—quite terrifyingly—the hero of his own story.
We could expect anything from VOD to a theatrical run, then onto a DVD release. Yummy. And I've put the trailers in after the break. It's a sin!
NEW YORK - February 24, 2009 - The Wagner/Cuban Companies' Magnet Releasing announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to Nicolas Winding Refn's BRONSON, a critical favorite from its screenings at Sundance and Rotterdam. This is the second time Refn has partnered with Magnolia/Magnet, who released his groundbreaking PUSHER trilogy in the U.S. in 2006. A Vertigo Films production, BRONSON was produced by Rupert Preston and Daniel Hansford. This is Magnet's second acquisition in a week's time, coming hot on the heels of taking U.S. rights to ONG BAK 2 out of Berlin last week.
BRONSON is based on the real life story of the infamous UK prisoner Michael Peterson (aka Charles Bronson), and charts the 34 years of prison life of Britain's most notorious, dangerous and charismatic criminal (30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement). Played by Tom Hardy (ROCKNROLLA), who underwent a drastic physical transformation for the role, Bronson was initially sent to prison for a botched armed robbery in which no one was hurt, and who has since served up year after year of extended sentences that have been piled on in response to violent outbursts against fellow inmates and guards, motivated by an unceasing desire to become a celebrity super-star. Over time, Bronson has made a name for himself as a world renowned, award winning artist and author, but still remains a "Category A" prisoner, meaning he is still in solitary confinement in Wakefield high-security prison.
"BRONSON is yet another benchmark film from Refn," said Magnolia/Magnet Senior Vice President Tom Quinn. "Bringing to the table the rich textures of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and a bravura performance by Tom Hardy, this film is another great example of what defines the aesthetic of Magnet Releasing. Refn is one of our favorite directors working today, and we couldn't happier about working together again."
"Bronson is not a biopic of Michael Petersen, but a film about the concept of becoming Charles Bronson," said director Nicholas Refn. "There is only one distributor for a film like this, and that's Magnet!"
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia Senior Vice President Tom Quinn and Acquisitions Manager Peter Van Steemburg, with Ben Roberts, CEO of Protagonist Pictures.