The first acquisition deal of 2017’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will bring a Keanu Reeves sci-fi thriller to North America. Byron Allen has made a $4 million commitment via his banner Entertainment Studios for the North American rights to “Replicas,” according to Deadline. The deal sets the stage for a public release of the sci-fi thriller, banking on Reeves’ strong sci-fi experience with “The Matrix” series.
“Replicas” follow neuroscientist Dr. William Foster (Reeves) whose family dies in a tragic car crash. Overwhelmed by grief, the good doctor turns to his previous work in Alzheimer’s research in an effort to re-create the human brain and replicate his lost loved ones. Jeffrey Nachmanoff (“The Day After Tomorrow”) directed the film off of Stephen Hamel (“Passengers”) and Chad St. John‘s (“The Punisher: Dirty Laundry”) screenplay. The film also features Alice Eve (“Star Trek: Into Darkness”), Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”) and John Ortiz (“Silver Linings Playbook”). Reeves produced the flick alongside Lorezo di Bonaventura, Hamel, Mark Gao (“The Transporter Refueled”) and Luis Riefkohl (“Welcome to the Jungle”).
“Replicas” isn’t technically part of the TIFF lineup, but was part of a precursory CAA program screening of films and promo reels for interested film buyers. There was an immediate bidding war for “Replicas” after its 11 a.m. screening, according to Deadline, with five offers in play. Ultimately, the film went to Entertainment Studios.
Allen has been making a name for himself over the past few years. He previously offered $20 million for Nate Parker‘s “The Birth of a Nation” and made an eight-figure offer for John Curran‘s “Chappaquiddick,” set to premiere at TIFF Sunday night. Entertainment Studios’ last release, “47 Meters Down,” made over $44 million off a $5.5 million budget.
Audiences can catch a glimpse of “Replicas” at New York Comic Con, where select clips will be shown along with a panel featuring Reeves and the filmmakers.
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| MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
| LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS |
| ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
| PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
| ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |