EXCLUSIVE: Neon CEO and founder Tom Quinn, Black Bear International President John Friedberg and Iconoclast‘s Head of Film and TV Robert Walak stopped by Deadline’s Zurich Summit studio this weekend to talk about current projects. Watch the video above.
Quinn, whose Neon has remarkably acquired the last four Cannes Palme d’Or winners in the shape of Parasite, Titane, Triangle Of Sadness and this year’s Anatomy Of A Fall, discussed Oscar hopes for Justine Triet’s movie and how the power of the Palme d’Or has grown in the minds of test screening audiences in Los Angeles.
Quinn told us: “We’ve seen over the years that the Palme d’Or has come to mean something quite significant for young cinephiles. Dating back to Parasite, the fifth reason why people came to see the film was that it won the Palme d’Or. Each year that has gone up, and this year, the number one reason given for why people came to the test screening in Burbank was because the film won the Palme d’Or.”
He added: “We think this film is on par with Kramer vs Kramer and Gone Girl. We believe, that not unlike Parasite, this is a multi-category contender [at the Oscars].”
The film will be released stateside on the second Friday of October, which is a similar release date to the company’s three previous Cannes winners. The movie is already performing strongly in France.
Quinn also discussed how a meeting at last year’s Zurich Summit led to the launch of the company’s new international sales division.
Neon is also teaming up this awards season with Michael Mann and Black Bear on long-gestating biopic Ferrari, starring Adam Driver.
Black Bear’s John Friedberg, a producer on the movie, tells us that there are “huge aspirations for what people will think about this film, which has a lot of awards potential: it’s a masterpiece”.
Friedberg also discusses working with Guy Ritchie and Jake Gyllenhaal on three movies in a row, including their untitled action film currently shooting in Spain (with a SAG interim agreement), also starring Henry Cavill and Eiza Gonzalez.
The former STX exec reveals that Cavill starrer The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare has been testing well and is gearing up for a release in 2024.
Meanwhile, former Focus Films and Anonymous Content executive Robert Walak, who joined Olivier Chastan’s music-oriented Iconoclast earlier this year, discussed the company’s ambitions in film and TV and teased an upcoming joint venture.
“[In terms of the company’s film and TV legacy] The first two pieces of work Iconoclast put out were Spring Breakers and Romain Gavras’ video for MIA Bad Girls. I’m working with all our international and U.S. outposts to build filmmaker driven projects for local and global audiences. We’re working with filmmakers coming out of music videos and discussing what our version of a musical might look like as well as music driven documentaries. We also have something else very exciting in the offing, a joint venture in the music space”.
The three executives rounded out our chat with an insight into movies they’ve recently watched and enjoyed.