Wild Bunch Aims To Foster “European Blumhouse” With New Genre Label Wild West


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European sales powerhouse Wild Bunch International and French production firm Capricci are joining forces to launch genre label Wild West, we can reveal.

The production label will be dedicated to genre movies and series, including horror, fantasy, sci-fi, crime, thriller, and superhero projects.

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The two companies are looking to develop around 12 projects (features and series) every year via Capricci’s So Film Genre Screenwriting Residence, with those projects then taken to market for financing, potential remakes and/or series adaptation.

Wild Bunch will rep international sales on a number of the projects. CAA Media Finance, which has long represented the U.S. rights to Wild Bunch International films, will handle domestic rights.

The first slate will be revealed in Bordeaux between June 9-11 during So Film’s growing industry workshop, which is expected to be attended by a string of leading French studios and financiers. Projects are expected to largely come from first and second-time filmmakers.

The 12 projects that will be presented next week are all French-language, though English-language projects are expected to feature in future editions.

One of this year’s projects is a remake of 1924 classic horror film The Hands Of Orlac, about a world-famous pianist who loses both hands in an accident and unwittingly allows the hands of a murderer to be grafted onto his arms with surprising consequences. The movie was remade in 1960 with Christopher Lee and Mel Ferrer.

“Ideally, we’d like this to be the Jason Blum label of Europe”, Wild Bunch chief Vincent Maraval told us. ‘Ideally, we’d like partners — someone like a Jason Blum type, for example — to join the company and secure a portion of the project rights, whether that be remake rights, or TV rights etc.”

Run by Thierry Lounas, head of the So Film magazine, Capricci launched the Screenwriting Residence five years ago. The first film to emerge from the initiative was Just Philippot’s 2021 horror film The Swarm, which played in Cannes Critics’ Week and Sitges. The Jokers will release the movie in France this month and Netflix boarded rights for rest of the world.

Maraval added: “The creation of Wild West marks the natural evolution of our collaboration with Thierry Lounas and Capricci through the So Film Genre Residence. The quality of the work done and the successful experience of The Swarm encouraged us to commit further to this adventure, allowing Wild Bunch International to reconnect fully with genre cinema which since the beginning has embodied Wild Bunch’s original and distinctive editorial approach.”

Lounas said: “Wild West offers a French genre cinema – genre cinema that speaks directly to and about the world today – as well as providing a tremendous laboratory for a new generation of filmmakers.”

Wild Bunch has a strong track record in genre, working on movies including Piranha 3D, Land Of The Dead and Pan’s Labyrinth and has helped discover new talents including Julia Ducourneau, Kike Maillo and Juan Antonio Bayona. The French mainstay recently launched its own production label Getaway, which recently produced Alexandre Aja’s Oxygen for Netflix.

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