Saban Films Takes ‘The Vault’ as TF1 Studio Closes U.K., Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

John Hopewell
·3 min read

Saban Films has acquired rights to the U.S. and Canada on Jaume Balagueró’s “The Vault” (F.K.A. “Way Down”), starring Famke Janssen of “X-Men” franchise fame, Sam Riley (“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” “Maleficent”), and Golden Globe nominee Freddie Highmore (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Bates Motel”).

Also starring are Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”) and Liam Cunningham (“Game of Thrones”).

Produced by Álvaro Augustin, Ghislain Barrois, Highmore, Eneko Lizarraga and Francisco Sánchez, “The Vault” will be released by Saban Films in theaters, on demand and digitally on Jan. 22.

The U.S deal was negotiated by Saban Films’s Jonathan Saba with CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers and TF1 Studio, the cinema division of top French broadcast group TF1, which is handling international sales.

Saban Films’s acquisition comes as TF1 Studio closed further key territories on “The Vault,” with Eagle Pictures snagging Italy, and U.K. rights taken by Signature Entertainment.

India (Lionsgate India) and Singapore (Shaw Renters) have also closed. Japan and Australia are still in discussion and will be sealed during the AFM, Sabine Chemaly, TF1 Studio EVP international sales, told Variety.

Written by Rowan Athale, Michel Gaztambide, Borja Glez, Santaolalla, Andrés M. Koppel and Rafa Martínez, “The Vault” follows Thom (Highmore), a genius engineering graduate who yearns for excitement and whose interest is piqued by the Bank of Spain.

Nobody’s ever managed to break into the bank: Its safe, built over 100 years ago, has no blueprints, and its security system includes an underground river that floods the safe room if breached. Learning that a legendary lost treasure will be deposited in the bank’s safe, Thom and charismatic art dealer Walter (Cunningham) mastermind a meticulous plan to break in.

“‘The Vault’ is an impressive and well-crafted film that will keep audiences in suspense through every step of the plan,” said Saban Films’s Bill Bromiley.

Partnering two of Europe’s biggest media corporations, France’s TF1 Group and Spain’s Mediaset España, “The Vault” has already closed Latin America (Synapse Distribution, which will release in collaboration with Ledafilms), Central Europe (Prorom Media Trade), Thailand (Sahamongkol Film), Benelux (Dutch Film Works) and South Korea (Noori Pictures).

Further deals have gone for the CIS (Top Film Distribution/Megogo), Greece (Spentzos), Portugal (Nos Lusomundo), China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (A Really Happy Film), Philippines (Pioneer Films), Indonesia (Prima Cinema) and the Middle East (Italia Films).

Acquisition-distribution company Saban Films, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group, recently announced it had entered the U.K. market, partnering with Altitude Media Group. Successes have run the gamut of theatrical movies such as “The Homesman,” starring Hilary Swank; this August’s digital hit “The Silencing,” a thriller with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; Fathom Events “3 From Hell,” from Rob Zombie; and Kevin Smith’s “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.”

Upcoming Saban Films releases include: Dennis Dugan’s “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters” starring Diane Keaton, Jeremy Irons and Maggie Grace; Jamie Babbit’s “The Stand-In” with Drew Barrymore in a dual lead role; Josh Duhamel’s directorial debut “Buddy Games”; the Alicia Silverstone wedding comedy “Sister of the Groom”; John Suits’ “Breach,” starring Bruce Willis, Cody Kearsley and Callan Mulvey; and “Twist,” starring Michael Caine, Lena Headey and Rita Ora.

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