Ahead of its world premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, A24 Films and DirectTV have partnered to acquire U.S. distribution rights to Slow West, a frontier thriller starring Oscar nominated actor Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). John Maclean, who previously directed Fassbender in the short films Man on a Motorcycle and the BAFTA-winning Pitch Black Heist, wrote and directed Slow West, marking his feature debut.
The film, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of 16-year-old Jay Cavendish (Smit-McPhee) as he journeys across the American Frontier in search of the gal he loves. Along the way he is joined by a mysterious traveler named Silas (Fassbender) and pursued by an outlaw, played by Ben Mendelsohn (Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Place Beyond the Pines). Fassbender is also producing the movie through his DNC Films banner along with See-Saw Films, the production team behind the Oscar winning 2010 film The King’s Speech and Fassbender’s upcoming MacBeth, in which he stars opposite Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.
Due to the partnership of A24 and DirectTV, Slow West will have an exclusive video-on-demand run before getting a specialized release in select theaters. That’s a similar release pattern used for other A24 titles like Enemy, the Jake Gyllenhaal doppelganger thriller released earlier this year, and the zombie romantic comedy Life After Beth with Aubrey Plaza (TV’s Parks and Recreation) and Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) that was released this past summer. A24 and DirectTV also partnered on the upcoming movie The Captive, a thriller starring Ryan Reynolds that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this past spring.