Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce star in the dark period drama.
Looks like another offbeat western is on the horizon for moviegoers and home-screen viewers. Momentum Pictures announced Thursday it has snapped up North American rights to Brimstone, a dark period drama starring Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce, and plans to release the film in March 2017 in theaters and on VOD.
Directed by Dutch filmmaker Martin Koolhoven, and recently showcased at prestigious film festivals in Venice, Toronto, and London, the English-language international co-production deals with an intense clash between good and evil, focuses on the ordeal of a frontier woman who becomes a fugitive after being falsely accused of a terrible crime — and is relentlessly pursued by a fanatical preacher.
“Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce’s strong performances truly capture the work and vision of filmmaker Martin Koolhoven,” says Ian Goggins, senior vice-president of content for Momentum Pictures. “We couldn’t be more proud to release Brimstone so that audiences can experience this amazing piece of cinema.”
Kerri Craddock, director of programming for the Toronto International Film Festival, describes Brimstone as “a gritty revenge western” featuring Dakota Fanning as Liz, a midwife and young mother who is “pursued by an emissary of evil across the 19th-century American frontier. ...
“Liz has a quiet country life on a farm with her kind-hearted husband and children,” Craddock wrote in the Toronto Festival program, “but we immediately sense that things are too good to be true. One Sunday, a mysterious new reverend (Guy Pearce) gives his inaugural sermon, and Liz fills with terror; her past has come back to haunt her.
“Following the service, a local woman goes into labor on the church floor. Through no fault of Liz's, the birth goes woefully wrong. When the woman's husband seeks revenge, the reverend comes to the rescue of Liz and her family — though he warns that punishment will soon befall her. The next day, the family's sheep are found slaughtered, Liz is sequestered, and her daughter is kidnapped. Thus begins a nigh-biblical sequence of events involving blood, fire, and an epic years-long odyssey spanning states and territories.”