Magnet Acquires North American Distro for Christopher Smith’s Detour

With films like Severance, Black Death, and Triangle on his resume, Christopher Smith is one of our favorite directors; and we’ve been anxiously awaiting an update on his latest, Detour, a psychological thriller.  Today news has come regarding the film’s distribution.

Per Deadline, Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, has acquired North American rights to Detour, the twisty new thriller from writer/director Christopher Smith, which world premiered last month at the Tribeca Film Festival. Detour stars Tye Sheridan (Mud, The Tree of Life), Emory Cohen (Brooklyn), and Bel Powley (Diary of a Teenage Girl) in a stylized noir tale about a college student whose attempts for revenge don’t go exactly as planned. Detour marks Smith’s third collaboration with Magnet.

Employing a split-narrative structure to tell this tale of deception and murder, Smith takes his audience on a thrill ride full of hairpin turns, where it’s never quite clear what or who can be trusted.

Detour was produced by Julie Baines of Dan Films and Jason Newmark of Newscope Films, together with Phil Hunt and Compton Ross. Head Gear Films provided production finance, and Bankside Films is handling international sales.

“We’ve been big fans of Christopher Smith for a long time, and we’re excited to work with him again on Detour,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “Like its classic noir predecessors, the film keeps you guessing until the very end.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled that my film is being released by Magnet,” said Smith. “They did such a great job on both Severance and Black Death, and I’m really excited that we get to do it all over again with Detour.”

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and Magnolia VP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden with CAA and Bankside Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

Synopsis:
Law student and all-around good guy Harper (Sheridan) suspects that his scheming stepfather, Vincent, is responsible for the car crash that sent his mother into a coma. Drowning his sorrows one evening in a seedy L.A whiskey bar, Harper is interrupted by a tough looking redneck called Johnny Ray (Cohen), who offers to “take care” of his stepdad for the cool sum of $20,000. Angry, intent on revenge, and fueled by alcohol, Harper agrees to the deal and spends the rest of his evening downing shots with Johnny Ray.

The next morning Harper wakes to the mother of all hangovers with hazy memory of the previous night’s events. Answering a knock at the front door, he is surprised to find Johnny Ray and his beautiful but distant girlfriend, Cherry (Powley), ready and waiting to drive to Vegas to kill Vincent. Harper’s claims that he was drunk and didn’t know what he was doing mean nothing to Johnny Ray, who is more threatening than ever in the cold light of day. Harper quickly realizes that there is no easy way out; if he wants to survive this, he has no choice but to go along with the plan.

What follows is a tense and deftly constructed noir thriller in which Harper’s story takes an unexpected detour, presenting the audience with two alternate versions of events with two very different outcomes. Did Harper really want to kill his stepfather, and which road did he actually take?

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