“The Report,” a political thriller about the War on Terror, became one of the big hits out of the Sundance Film Festival so far. The very talented cast features Adam Driver in a starring role immediately after he received his first Oscar nomination. Also grabbing a strong role, Annette Bening makes a push towards an Oscar once again. The film takes on the controversial Bush policies of torture. It serves as a direct retort to shows and films like “24” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” With a strong reception from audiences at the festival, Amazon decided to add to their 2018 slate.
According to Variety, the political film nabbed a $14 million distribution deal, a little more than “Late Night” earned from the studio. However, the “Late Night” deal only included domestic distribution rights, while “The Report” deal includes worldwide distribution rights. A film like “The Report” falls more in line with traditional awards fare, and the combination of the two pickups gives Amazon a very strong slate for 2019.
Scott Z. Burns directs “The Report” based on his own screenplay. Burns crafted a career out of writing tension filled screenplays. His previous writing credits include “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Side Effects” and “Contagion.” His cast for the report features big hitters besides Driver and Bening. Jon Hamm, Matthew Rhys, Maura Tierney, Michael C. Hall, Corey Stoll and more make up the large ensemble.
Many have called it a stronger film than “Vice,” a current Best Picture nominee. With 100% on Rotten Tomatoes so far, the comparison seems apt. Something to keep in mind: Burns also wrote the screenplay for “The Laundromat,” which Steven Soderbergh will direct for Netflix. Between the two projects, Burns has become a hot commodity and might find himself with a pair of screenplay nominations at years end. It’s early, but keep an eye on Burns this year.
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