It’s been a robust couple of days out of Park City as the 2017 Sundance Film Festival continues and distributors look to stock up their specialty titles for the year. Deadline broke that news that The Orchard has acquired U.S. distribution rights to The Hero, a new drama starring Sam Elliott. The film made its world premiere this past Saturday at Sundance and was warmly greeted by critics with particular praise for Elliott’s performance.
Directed and co-written by Brett Haley (Marc Basch is the second credited scribe), The Hero centers around a veteran Western film star (think shades of John Wayne) who begins to re-examine his life following a cancer diagnosis and as he receives a lifetime achievement award. Haley previously wrote (along with Basch) and directed the 2015 indie sleeper I’ll See You in My Dreams, a Sundance player that featured Elliott. Laura Prepon (Orange is the New Black), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Nick Offerman (The Founder) and Katharine Ross (The Graduate) also star. The Hero premiered in the U.S. Dramatic section of Sundance.
Reportedly, The Orchard spent nearly $3 million for the film. Elliott has been on an impressive role, particularly in recent years. Critics and moviegoers were besotted with the veteran actor’s soulful turns in I’ll See You in My Dreams and the Lily Tomlin-led vehicle Grandma. Early reviews suggest The Hero fits him like a glove.
No release plans have been made as of yet.