Magnolia Pictures has snapped up U.S. rights to Master Gardener — the latest starry feature from Academy Award nominee Paul Schrader (First Reformed), which world premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival and most recently screened at the New York Film Festival. Pic is slated for release next year.
The crime thriller scripted by Schrader — marking the last film in his recent trilogy including First Reformed and The Card Counter — follows Narvel Roth (Loving‘s Joel Edgerton), the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens. He is as much devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate as to pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill (Avatar‘s Sigourney Weaver). When Mrs. Haverhill demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya (Black Adam‘s Quintessa Swindell) as a new apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that threaten them all.
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Master Gardener was produced by Schrader’s manager, David Gonzales, as well as Amanda Crittenden (The Nightingale, HBO’s The Leftovers) and Scott LaStaiti (The Infiltrator, Jane Got a Gun). Ottocento’s Luisa Law, Flickstar’s Jamieson McClurg and KOJO Studios’ Dale Roberts and Linda Ujuk served as exec producers.
“Horticulture has never seemed so fraught with mystery and peril as in MASTER GARDENER,” said Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles. “Paul Schrader, ably abetted by his remarkable cast, finds fertile soil for exploring his fascinatingly complex themes in this truly exceptional thriller.”
Added Schrader: “Magnolia has been a class act for over twenty years, and I eagerly anticipate and appreciate their distribution of MASTER GARDENER.”
Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden negotiated the deal for Master Gardener on behalf of the indie film studio, with David Gonzales at Northern Lights and Gabrielle Stewart at HanWay Films on behalf of the filmmakers.
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