EXCLUSIVE: We hear that Vertical Entertainment has snapped up the domestic and UK distribution rights to The Big Ugly, an action thriller starring Snatch‘s Vinnie Jones, Ron Perlman and Malcolm McDowell. The Big Ugly will first hit UK theaters and VOD on July 24, and then U.S. theaters and VOD a week later on July 31.
The deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey and Josh Spector at Vertical with Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers.
In the pic, written, directed and produced by Scott Wiper, Jones plays Neelyn, a guy who has always been the loyal enforcer for crime boss Harris (McDowell) back in London, taking care of problems and people that disrupt his illicit business. When Harris strikes a deal with an old friend – American oilman Preston (Perlman) – they find themselves in the wild hills of West Virginia. Contracts are signed and the whiskey flows in celebration, but overnight Neelyn’s girlfriend disappears, last seen with Preston’s wayward son Junior. Lines are drawn between family and friends, but nothing will stop Neelyn from getting answers — and retribution. Nicholas Braun (HBO’s Succession) Leven Rambin (The Hunger Games), McGill (Lincoln, National Lampoon’s Animal House), Lenora Crichlow (Fast Girls, Deception) and Joelle Carter (Justified, High Fidelity) also star. Jones also produced the movie.
“It was more than a movie for us to make. (My late wife) Tanya was our staunch supporter on The Big Ugly. She said ‘go make the film.’ She pushed us,” says Jones in a statement to Deadline. At the end of the movie you will see this is dedicated in Loving Memory of Tanya Jones. The last song by Exile was her choice. The greatest thing of all this is she got to see a finished Director’s Cut.”
“This is not your average action-thriller. Scott’s vision and creative collaboration with star Vinnie Jones brings a dynamic and fresh approach to the genre,” says Rich Goldberg, co-president of Vertical Entertainment. “A departure from any role he’s played before, Jones delivers a standout performance alongside the star-studded cast. We’re thrilled to bring this film to North American and UK audiences this July.”
“Vinnie and I are thrilled to join forces with Rich, Peter and the entire Vertical team. They’re innovative and agile in their approach amidst a landscape that seems to be shifting faster than ever before,” adds Wiper. “Since we first met, they’ve given us the care and thoughtfulness every filmmaker craves. Together, Vinnie and I have made an honest film about pain, loss, love, hope, and redemption in the hills of Appalachia, West Virginia. That’s The Big Ugly. Vertical Entertainment understands our film, and they know who the audience is. We couldn’t be happier with their game plan and passion.”
The Big Ugly was also produced by Tarquin Pack and Karri O’Reilly. Co-producers are Michael Downey and Nancy Hirami, story by Wiper & Paul Tarantino. The pic was was executive produced by 4G VISION and Michael Angelo. Legal was handled by Jamie Coghill, Esq. of Surpin, Mayersohn & Coghill, LLP.
Vertical Entertainment currently has the Tom Hardy feature Capone on VOD.