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‘Sicario’ Sequel, ‘Granite Mountain’ Move From Lionsgate to Sony

Variety logo Variety 4/24/2017 Dave McNary
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Black Label has reached a deal with Sony Pictures to take over distribution of a pair of action-adventure films — “Granite Mountain” and “Soldado” — from Lionsgate for North America and select international territories.

Black Label and Lionsgate have not commented on why their distribution agreement collapsed. But informed sources indicated that disagreements on release dates and marketing strategies were factors.

Lionsgate is retaining the international rights on “Soldado” and on most foreign markets on “Granite Mountain.”

“Granite Mountain,” directed by Joseph Kosinski, tells the true tale of an elite crew of heroic firefighters who battled to save their hometown from a wildfire. Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly star.

“Granite Mountain” is based on the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona, which killed 19 firefighters. Sony will release the film on Oct. 20 — a month later than Lionsgate’s intended Sept. 22 release date.

“Soldado” is the sequel to Lionsgate’s “Sicario.” Stefano Sollima directs the continuation of the story, with Benicio Del Toro and Brolin reprising their roles in a story of intrigue and double crosses along the border of Mexico.

Sony has not yet dated “Soldado,” which marks the second movie in a potential trilogy. “Sicario,” which also starred Emily Blunt, was released in 2015 and grossed $84 million worldwide.

Black Label Media is headed by Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill. In addition to funding “Sicario,” it was also a production company on Liongate’s “La La Land.”

Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, said in a statement: “It’s rare that a studio gets the chance to pick up two films of such high caliber at once. We have a wonderful relationship with Molly, Trent and Thad, and we’re excited to be in partnership with Black Label on these exceptional movies.”

The films were acquired by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. The deal was negotiated by Steve Bersch and Michael Helfand on behalf of SPWA and by Joe Cohen on behalf of Black Label Media. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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