Peter Sarsgaard And Mackenzie Davis Horror Pic ‘The Damning Of A Country Merchant’ Heads To Cannes Market

EXCLUSIVE: Peter Sarsgaard (Dopesick, The Batman) and Mackenzie Davis (Station Eleven, Terminator: Dark Fate) have signed on to star in The Damning Of A Country Merchant, a horror pic from Anonymous Content, Two Independent Eyes, and Anti-Worlds, who have partnered to produce.

We understand Brooklyn-based artist and filmmaker Matthew Rosenbaum has been tapped to direct from a screenplay he wrote. The pic will mark Rosenbaum’s feature directorial debut. Pulsar Content is handling international sales, while XYZ Films, UTA Independent Film Group, and CAA Media Finance have partnered for North America. All four companies will introduce the project to buyers at the upcoming Cannes Market.

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Billed as a “twisted horror,” the pic is set in 1910 Indiana and follows the patriarch of a rural mercantile family (Sarsgaard) whose way of life is suddenly disrupted by a charismatic industrialist who has entered into a secret affair with his wife (Davis). When rising tensions mistakenly lead to the death of a customer, his wounded authority and masculinity leave him vulnerable to truly bizarre and horrific forces causing unimaginable chaos and terror.

Lemming Film (The Lobster) is co-producing with principal photography set to take place in Belgium. Producers on the pic are Christian Hall (Popular Theory) for Two Independent Eyes, alongside Eric Cook (Monica) and Andy Starke (Possessor) for Anti-Worlds, as well as Reuben Walker and David Levine for Anonymous Content.

“We are thrilled to announce our first feature with Peter Sarsgaard and Mackenzie Davis,” said Pulsar co-founders Gilles Sousa and Marie Garrett. “It’s also a great opportunity to partner up again with XYZ Films, UTA Independent Film Group, and CAA Media Finance on this first feature which, we’re sure, will fit the international audience. The script is totally unique and will take the audience to an unexpected place.”

Recent Pulsar Content titles include The Opera!, the adaptation of Orpheus and Eurydice as an on-screen opera musical; football female player’s biopic Marinette; Mandalay’s new thriller The Patience Of Vultures and Céline Salette’s first feature about Niki de Saint-Phalle, Niki.

Rosenbaum is known for his interdisciplinary practice, which spans painting, photography, and film. His work often explores strong themes of mysticism with psychology. He currently also has a series, Tongue Of Opal, in development. The project is described as a mischievous tale about a grifter who finds herself embroiled in the world of spiritualism in New York City in the 1920s.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Daniel Sirkin of Sirkin Tarnow Law. Peter Sarsgaard is represented by WME, Anonymous Content, and Peikoff Mahan. Mackenzie Davis is represented by UTA, Entertainment 360, B-Side Management, and Sloane, Offer, Weber, and Dern, LLP. Matthew Rosenbaum is repped by CAA.

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