EXCLUSIVE: Sony’s Screen Gems has closed a mid-seven-figure worldwide rights deal at Cannes for The Intruder, a Deon Taylor-directed thriller that stars Dennis Quaid, Meaghan Good, Michael Ealy and Joseph Sikora (Power). It marks the first acquisition for Steven Bersch since he took over the genre label, and the minimum guarantee comes with a wide release commitment and P&A.
David Loughery wrote the script, and the picture completed production under the title Motivated Seller. Screen Gems senior exec Eric Paquette brought it in and is overseeing it.
The Intruder is produced by Hidden Empire Film Group, the production company backed by Robert F. Smith, the former chemical engineer and investment banker who is the founder, chairman and CEO of the private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners. Smith has been with Taylor since the start of the filmmaker’s career, as exec producer of his early films Dead Tone, The Hustle, Chain Letter, Supremacy and Meet the Blacks. Taylor is producing with Roxanne Avent and Smith with Mark Burg, Brad Kaplan and Jonathan Schwartz.
The film has the potential to be Taylor’s breakout vehicle.
The pic is a psychological thriller about a young married couple who buys a beautiful Napa Valley home only to find that the man they bought it from refuses to let go of the property, and he slowly terrorizes them. Quaid plays the seller — think Jack Nicholson in The Shining and his slow descent into madness — and Good and Ealy play the couple who discover that the motivated seller has no intention of vacating the premises.
The deal was negotiated by Endeavor Content and Bersch, with talks beginning in Hollywood and a deal wrapping while they were in Cannes.