Utopia nears deal for Ali Abbasi’s ‘Holy Spider’ Cannes film – Deadline
EXCLUSIVE: holy spider, the Iranian serial killer thriller directed by Ali Abbasi, is in talks for a US rights deal with Utopia, the US sales and distribution company owned by Robert Schwartzman and Cole Harper. The provocative Cannes Competition film premiered today on the Croisette to rapturous applause and positive reviews.
CAA Media Finance negotiates the national deal while Wild Bunch handles sales of the film about a serial killer who kills sex workers in the Holy city of Mashhad, a pilgrimage destination (and the second largest city in Iran). Based on a true story, the film centers on a reporter from Tehran who tries to track down the killer – and faces a lot of opposition from the authorities, as many secretly support the “spider killer” to remove an outrageous item.
Pic is written by Abbasi and Afshin Kamran Bahrami, and stars Zar Amir Ebrahimi and Mehdi Bajestani. The producers are Sol Bondy (The tale) and Jacob Jarek (Speak no evil).
Iranian-Danish director Abbasi won the Un Certain Regard competition several years ago for his Swedish troll film Frontier.
The acquisition marks the biggest deal yet for start-up Utopia, formed in 2019 with a “filmmaker first” approach. Previous versions include pointed stick, American Dharma and mickey and the bear.