*International production company Silver Reel announced today that shooting has wrapped on Paradise Highway, with Academy Award® winning duo Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, Chocolat, High Life) and Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight, Million Dollar Baby, The Shawshank Redemption) along with Frank Grillo (Captain America, “Kingdom,” Boss Level) in leading roles. Cameron Monaghan (Shameless, Gotham) co-stars alongside breakout star Hala Finley (We Can Be Heroes), Veronica Ferres (Crisis, Every Breath you Take), Christiane Seidel (The Queen’s Gambit, Boardwalk Empire), and Walker Babington (The Magnificent Seven).
Paradise Highway has been pre-sold to Lionsgate for distribution in North America and international sales. ZDF boards as co-producer and German distributor. Both deals were secured by Silver Reel’s Claudia Bluemhuber.
In Paradise Highway, Sally (Binoche), a truck driver, has been forced to smuggle illicit cargo to save her brother Dennis (Grillo) from a deadly prison gang. With FBI operative Gerick (Freeman) hot on her trail, Sally’s motivations and conscience are challenged when the final package turns out to be a teenage girl (Finley).
Paradise Highway is written and directed by Anna Gutto (Netflix’s “Home for Christmas”); her script is the result of years of research and immersion into the trucking community. The script was the recipient of Columbia University’s Zaki Gordon Memorial Award for Excellence in Screenwriting.
Gutto comments, “It’s an honor to work with Juliette Binoche and Morgan Freeman. Their performances are…electric. And, on top of that, having young talent Hala Finley come in and unapologetically impress us. Seeing powerhouse Juliette in generous awe with Hala, I knew we’d create a uniquely powerful connection on screen. The whole cast; Frank, Cameron, Veronica, Christiane, Walker – embracing their conflicted characters, working alongside real women truckers Desiree Woods and Dianne McNair-Smith – it fills the story with passion and truth.”
Bluemhuber continues, “Having Juliette take on this brave, gutsy role in a deeply thought-provoking and thrilling story is incredibly exciting. Seeing Morgan Freeman on screen with Juliette for the first time is magical. With Lionsgate and ZDF we have found the perfect partners to bring this film to a global audience.”
Barry Brooker, president and CEO of Grindstone Entertainment Group, which is handling the release for Lionsgate, added, “We’re thrilled to be adding this film to Lionsgate’s slate. The cast performances combined with Anna’s deeply researched story elevate this thriller. Paradise Highway will keep audiences riveted, and the questions it raises will stay with them long after viewing.”
Simone Emmelius, SVP International Fiction, Coproduction & Acquisitions at ZDF, added, “We are excited about this high-class cinematic co-production, which is not only shaped by strong women, but also tells a story full of female power, courage and bravery.”
Paradise Highway is produced by Silver Reel’s Claudia Bluemhuber (The Wife, Unlocked, Official Secrets), Georgia Bayliff (Head of Film, Silver Reel), and Mike Leahy (Strike Accord). Executive producers include Barry Brooker of Grindstone Entertainment Group, Florian Dargel, Alexander Jooss, and Karol Griffith for Silver Reel, Gary Leff for Southland, Dorothea Sick Thiess for Protect the Planet, and Silke Wilfinger for Silkway Films.
Juliette Binoche is represented by Peter Levine at CAA and Jason Winberg with Donovan Daughtry of Untitled Management, Morgan Freeman and Veronica Ferres by Fred Specktor at CAA, Frank Grillo is represented by CAA, Management 360 and Erik Hyman from Paul Hastings, Hala Finley by Jennifer Millar at Paradigm and Wendi Green at Atlas.
Cameron Monaghan is represented by Brian Nossokoff at UTA and Michael Hepburn at Industry Entertainment, Walker Babington by Rebecca Davis at The Krewe Collective, Christiane Seidel by Jonathan Mason at Buchwald and Melanie Greene at Affirmative Entertainment. Writer-director Anna Gutto is represented in the US by Sean Berard at Grandview Management and Anita Surendran at Granderson des Rochers, and Lisa Widén at Albatros Agency for Scandinavia.
Source: Joyce Hsu | [email protected]