Two controversial and timely films that played at this year’s 39th Annual Toronto International Film Festival have found homes as IFC Films has picked up the distribution rights to Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill, starring Ethan Hawke, and Relativity has jumped on Mike Binder’s Black or White (previously called “Black and White”), starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer.
Co-starring January Jones, Zoe Kravitz and Bruce Greenwood, Good Kill, the third collaboration between Niccol and Hawke, a relationship that dates back to 1997’s Gattaca, is a look at drone warfare through the eyes of an Air Force pilot who has been grounded and now works at a base outside Las Vegas where he uses drones to monitor and kill potential threats to national security. He starts to question some of the orders when they’re put under the charge of the CIA and is given orders that put more innocent civilians in danger.
Mike Binder’s racially-charged drama Black or White pits Kevin Costner against Octavia Spencer as the grandparents of a young mixed race girl whose parents have died with each of them thinking the girl should be raised in the best environment for her. Open Road was originally in the mix to distribute the film before those negotiations fell through, allowing Relativity to get into talks with plans on releasing the movie before the end of the year so it can qualify for awards with a focus put on the performances by Costner and Spencer. The film also stars Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Ehle and Gillian Jacobs.
You can read our thoughts on both movies in our earlier Toronto Diary.