Open Road Films Reteams with Gerard Butler and Director Ric Roman Waugh for Release of "Kandahar"

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Open Road Films has acquired North American rights to the explosive action thriller "Kandahar," starring Gerard Butler, from G-BASE, Thunder Road, Capstone Studios and MBC Studios with a wide domestic theatrical release planned for 2023.

"Kandahar" reunites Butler and Director Ric Roman Waugh (Angel Has Fallen, Greenland) for another high-octane movie that co-stars Navid Negahban (Homeland, 24, Legion), Ali Fazal (Victoria & Abdul, Death on the Nile), Travis Fimmel (Vikings, Warcraft), and Bollywood star Elnaaz Norouzi (Hello, Charlie!, Sacred Games). The film was shot in the famous AlUla region of Saudi Arabia, setting the stage for Butler's intense race against the clock actioner.

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"Kandahar" is set for a wide domestic theatrical release in 2023 by Open Road Films.

The announcement was made by Open Road's Tom Ortenberg. 

In "Kandahar," Tom Harris (Gerard Butler), an undercover CIA operative, is stuck deep in hostile territory in Afghanistan. After his mission is exposed, he must fight his way out, alongside his Afghan translator, to an extraction point in Kandahar, all whilst avoiding elite enemy forces and foreign spies tasked with hunting them down. 

The screenplay comes from Mitchell LaFortune, based on his own experiences as a military intelligence officer during the Snowden leaks.

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Written by Mitchell LaFortune and Waugh, KANDAHAR is produced by Thunder Road's Basil Iwanyk, Brendon Boyea, G-BASE's Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel, Capstone's Christian Mercuri, MBC Studios' Ali Jaafar and Scott LaStaiti. Executive Producers are James Masciello, Matthew Sidari, Tom Ortenberg, David Haring, Ruzanna Kegeyan, Andrea Dimity, Jonathan Fuhrman, Peter Smith and Sam Barnett.

Written by Mitchell LaFortune and Waugh, KANDAHAR is produced by Thunder Road's Basil Iwanyk, Brendon Boyea, G-BASE's Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel, Capstone's Christian Mercuri, MBC Studios' Ali Jaafar and Scott LaStaiti. Executive Producers are James Masciello, Matthew Sidari, Tom Ortenberg, David Haring, Ruzanna Kegeyan, Andrea Dimity, Jonathan Fuhrman, Peter Smith and Sam Barnett. KANDAHAR was financed by Mercuri's Capstone Studios who are also handling international sales for the film along with MBC Studios, the production and distribution arm of MBC Group, the leading media company in the Middle East.  

"'Kandahar' is an adrenaline ride made for the big screen. Gerry, Ric, the G-BASE team and Thunder Road have outdone themselves with this pulse-pounding actioner that our team is looking forward to bringing to audiences everywhere," said Open Road Films' Tom Ortenberg.

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Commented director Ric Roman Waugh: "What made Mitch LaFortune's visceral script so compelling and unique for me is its authenticity and how he humanizes not just our heroes, but all the characters portrayed in a region that's been locked in a perpetual cycle of violence." 

CAA and Capstone Global negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. Matthew Sidari negotiated and closed the deal on behalf of Open Road Films.


Open Road Films recently partnered with Gerard Butler and G-BASE for the U.S. release of the Joe Carnahan directed action/thriller Copshop.

Open Road Films was acquired by Raven in 2018 and relaunched in 2020 with former head Tom Ortenberg at the helm. The company immediately had two consecutive #1 theatrical release openings in the US: Honest Thief, starring Liam Neeson, Kate Walsh and Jai Courtney, directed by Mark Williams; and The Marksman starring Liam Neeson and directed by Robert Lorenz.

Additional Open Road releases have included the Foo Fighters' horror/comedy Studio 666, the comedy Good Mourning starring Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly), Megan Fox and Pete Davidson, and After We Collided - the sequel to the YA hit After. Upcoming releases include Sculptor Media's drama/thriller Black Flies starring Sean Penn and Tye Sheridan, directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire.

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G-BASE, the production shingle founded by Gerard Butler & Alan Siegel, has produced nineteen feature films since opening in 2008 including "Law Abiding Citizen", "Olympus Has Fallen", "London Has Fallen", and the most recent film in the franchise "Angel Has Fallen." Worldwide receipts have totaled over a half billion dollars. Their (latest) films include the critically acclaimed "The Vanishing," "Den of Thieves," and "Hunter Killer." Them That Follow," starring Olivia Colman, premiered and sold at Sundance in US Dramatic Competition. "Greenland" bravely led the pack of movies opening in cinemas across international markets gradually and safely during Covid, with #1 openings in almost all territories. The film has debuted in the U.S. on HBO after one of the biggest acquisition deals in their history. "The Plane" co-produced with Di Bonaventura Pictures & MadRiver Pictures is in post-production. In addition to film, the company continues to produce and develop a diverse slate of projects including television series, documentaries, reality shows, and interactive media projects.


Thunder Road's upcoming projects include BALLERINA, a John Wick spinoff starring Ana de Armas which Len Wiseman will direct; Dev Patel's directorial debut, the stylized revenge thriller MONKEY MAN; the John Wick spin-off TV series 'The Continental'; and the romantic comedy, IT'S ALL COMING BACK TO ME starring Priyanka Chopra, Sam Heughan and Celine Dion. Additionally, Thunder Road is currently in post-production on John Wick 4; John Woo's heralded US action film return SILENT NIGHT starring Joel Kinnaman; Stefon Bristol's sophomore film BREATHE starring Jennifer Hudson and Milla Jovovich; the Ric Waugh and Gerard Butler action epic KANDAHAR; and Netflix's Mouly Surya directed modern western TRIGGER WARNING starring Jessica Alba. 

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