US deal for Australian vigilante pic

30 July, 2013 by Don Groves

Main Street Films has bought North American rights to John Doe, an Australian thriller about an anti-hero who attempts to rid the community of criminals while taking out those he knows are about to commit crimes.

The director is Kel Dolen (Reign in Darkness, Gates of Hell), the screenplay is by Steve Coates and the cast is headed by Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber and Lachy Hulme (Howzat! Kerry Packer's War, Beaconsfield).


The film was produced by ScreenCorp.’s James M. Vernon and Kristy Vernon with Keith Sweitzer and David Lightfoot. Leanne Walker is the executive producer.

Main Street Films chairman Craig Chang along with Harrison Kordestani saw John Doe at the Cannes Film Market and negotiated the deal with Vernon. “We used our two screenings at Cannes to create a profile for the film and it turned out better than expected,” Vernon told IF.

The US company is releasing Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane and Jeremy Irvine, and the Jack LaMotta biopic The Bronx Bull, which stars William Forsythe, Joe Mantegna and Paul Sorvino, in October.

Vernon said the deal guarantees John Doe a theatrical release, the number of screens and launch date to be decided. “We are pretty excited about this deal as it’s unusual for small Australian films to get theatrical release in North America,” he said.

Robbie Little’s The Little Film Company is handling international sales and will launch the film at the American Film Market in November. Vernon is discussing an Australian theatrical release with a number of Australian distributors.

Also on ScreenCorp.’s slate is The Fatal Shore, a documentary series based on Robert Hughes’ novel about the birth of Australia, scripted by Drew Lees and hosted by. Scottish historian and TV presenter Neil Oliver

“From here on we are ramping up ScreenCorp’s production slate, with a number of exciting projects nearing the end of their development phase,” said Vernon.