Paramount+ announced today that it has acquired the rights to the crime thriller FINESTKIND, starring Academy Award® winner Tommy Lee Jones, Independent Spirit Award winner Ben Foster, Toby Wallace and Jenna Ortega. Academy Award winner Brian Helgeland will write and direct the film, which will begin production in mid-April in Massachusetts.
Produced by Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff of Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment, Academy Award nominee Taylor Sheridan of Bosque Ranch, David C. Glasser of 101 Studios, and in association with MTV Entertainment Studios, FINESTKIND will debut exclusively on Paramount+ in late 2022 in the United States. It will also be available on Paramount+ in Australia, Canada and Latin America as well as in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and South Korea when the service launches in those markets later this year. 101 Studios will be handling international sales for all remaining territories.
Set in New Bedford, Mass., America’s biggest commercial fishing port, FINESTKIND tells the story of two brothers (Foster and Wallace) from opposite sides of the tracks, who are reunited as adults over one fateful summer. When desperate circumstances force them to strike a deal with a dangerous Boston crime syndicate, a young woman (Ortega) finds herself caught in the middle. Along the way, sacrifices must be made, and bonds between brothers, friends, and a father (Jones) and his son are put to the test.
“Having spent a year after college as a Massachusetts fisherman, I created a script that brings a level of authenticity by being able to weave in my own personal experiences,” said Helgeland. “I come from a long line of commercial fishermen and have experienced their hard-working world firsthand. Through the help of our partners at 101 Studios, Paramount+ and Bosque Ranch, we will be able to accurately capture their endeavors at sea, as well as honor them for their immense contribution to society. I feel privileged for the opportunity to tell this story to audiences globally.”
Producer Gary Foster echoed Helgeland’s statement: “Brian and I have dreamed about making this film for a long time. We have been friends and colleagues for over 30 years. Brian’s powerful screenplay draws on his experiences growing up in the tough city of New Bedford, Mass. The authenticity of the piece and the richness of character combined with Brian’s directorial vision will elevate FINESTKIND to an exciting cinematic ride, and is why we have attracted a stellar cast led by Ben, Toby, Jenna and Tommy Lee Jones. I couldn’t be more thrilled!”
“Brian is such an incredible filmmaker because of the stories he tells and the characters he creates. At 101 Studios, we aim to share films that spark conversations and engage audiences, and that’s exactly what FINESTKIND does. With the immensely talented cast led by Ben, Toby, Jenna and Tommy, and with the help of our long-standing partners Paramount+, we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this project,” said David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios.
Helgeland won the Academy Award for his screenwriting of “L.A. Confidential.” He was also nominated for his writing of Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River.” His most recent directorial work includes the films “Legend,” starring Tom Hardy and Taron Egerton, and “42,” starring the late Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford.
Jones made his feature film debut in “Love Story” and, in a career spanning four decades, has starred in such films as “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “In the Valley of Elah,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Lincoln,” “JFK,” “The Fugitive,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Men in Black,” “Men in Black II,” “Men in Black III” and “Rules of Engagement.”
On the small screen, Jones won an Emmy for “The Executioner’s Song” and was nominated for his work on “Lonesome Dove.” Jones made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed series “The Good Old Boys” and later “The Sunset Limited.” He also directed and starred in Palme D’Or nominees “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” and “The Homesman.” Jones has also worked on Broadway in shows including John Osborne’s “A Patriot for Me,” “Four on a Garden” with Carol Channing and Sid Caesar, and “Ulysses in Nighttown” with the late Zero Mostel.
Foster recently received rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival for his performance as Harry Haft in “The Survivor,” which will be out on HBO on April 27. Later this year, he will be seen in “Hustle,” opposite Adam Sandler and Robert Duvall, and “The Contractor,” opposite Chris Pine. Foster currently wrapped production on Antoine Fuqua’s “Emancipation,” opposite Will Smith for Apple. In 2018 he starred in “Leave No Trace,” which garnered him nominations for a Gotham Award and a London Critics Circle Film Award for Best Actor. In 2016 Foster starred in “Hell or High Water,” for which he won a Film Independent Spirit Award, Nevada Film Critics Society Award and San Diego Film Critics Society Award, and he was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award as well.
The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and was named one of the best films of the year by AFI. Additional credits include “Galveston,” “Hostiles,” “Inferno,” “The Finest Hours,” “The Program,” “Lone Survivor,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “Kill Your Darlings,” “Contraband,” “Rampart,” “The Messenger,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “Alpha Dog.” On television, Foster memorably recurred as Russell Corwin on “Six Feet Under” and won an Emmy for his performance in the TV movie “Bang Bang You’re Dead.” On stage, he played Stanley Kowalski in the Young Vic’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” opposite Gillian Anderson. In 2013 Foster made his Broadway debut in a revival of Lyle Kessler’s play “Orphans,” opposite Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge.
Wallace was most recently seen in the critically acclaimed film “Babyteeth,” for which he earned the AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor and the Venice Film Festival’s Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor in 2019. Wallace can next be seen in the upcoming six-part series “Pistol” as guitarist Steve Jones.
Ortega rose to stardom when she was cast as young Jane in the award-winning series “Jane the Virgin.” She can now be seen in the blockbuster new installment of the “Scream” franchise and the indie feature film “The Fallout,” which won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at SXSW. Ortega is currently filming the highly anticipated Tim Burton series “Wednesday,” in which she’ll play the title character, Wednesday Addams. Other current projects include “Studio 666” and the horror thriller “X.” Previously, Ortega was featured in “Yes Day,” “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” and the second season of the hit series “You,” and she lent her voice to the animated series “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.” Ortega is also a Neutrogena brand ambassador.
Paramount+, a direct-to-consumer digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, combines live sports, breaking news, and a mountain of entertainment. The premium streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and the Smithsonian Channel. The service is also the streaming home to unmatched sports programming, including every CBS Sports event, from golf to football to basketball and more, plus exclusive streaming rights for major sports properties, including some of the world’s biggest and most popular soccer leagues. Paramount+ also enables subscribers to stream local CBS stations live across the U.S. in addition to the ability to stream CBSN for 24/7 news, CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis, and ET Live for entertainment coverage.
For more information about Paramount+, please visit www.paramountplus.com and follow @ParamountPlus on social platforms.
About MTV Entertainment:
MTV Entertainment Group is one of the preeminent youth media companies in the world that connects with global audiences through its nine iconic brands – MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Pop, Logo, Smithsonian, Paramount Network and TV Land – as well as MTV Entertainment Studios which produces acclaimed series and movies and the award-winning, Oscar nominated MTV Documentary Films.
About 101 Studios:
101 Studios is a global entertainment company dedicated to the acquisition, financing, development, production and distribution of high-caliber, creator-driven storytelling. 101 empowers content creators through first-class collaboration and innovation. On the television side, 101 produces Taylor Sheridan’s Emmy nominated series “Yellowstone,” “Mayor of Kingstown,” “1883” and the upcoming “George & Tammy,” “Tulsa King,” “Lioness” and “Bass Reeves.” 101 Studios oversees and manages the newly formed Sports Illustrated Studios, a content platform based on the most compelling stories, characters and moments in sports past, present and future. Upcoming projects include “Paradise Found” based on the true story of high school football coach Rick Prinz; a docuseries about the sexual abuse and cover-up at Ohio State University, co-produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures; and the docuseries “Covers,” a behind-the-scenes look at Sports Illustrated’s top cover stories of all time. SI Studios has also exclusively partnered with iHeartMedia to create and distribute original podcasts through the iHeartPodcast network. On the film side, past releases include “The Current War: Director’s Cut,” the Sundance Audience award winner “Burden” as well as the family comedy “The War with Grandpa.”
About Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment:
Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff formed Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment in 2006 focusing on the production of feature films and television series. After their successful individual careers in which Gary produced films including “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Tin Cup” and “Ghost Rider,” and Russ headed programming/production at Sony Pictures Television, Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment has produced several film and television projects, including “Denial” starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkinson, “The Soloist” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, “My Old Lady” starring Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas, “Emperor” starring Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox, the hit NBC series “Community” now streaming on Netflix and Hulu, and USA Network’s “Satisfaction.”