Willem Dafoe Thriller ‘Inside’ Acquired By Focus Features, Sets 2023 Release – Deadline

Focus Features has picked up the Willem Dafoe psychological thriller Inside and set a theatrical release of March 10, 2023. Focus is handling Inside in the U.S. and Canada while Universal International will distribute overseas.

The movie, which reps the feature directorial debut of Vasilis Katsoupis, tells the story of Nemo, an art thief trapped in a New York penthouse after his heist doesn’t go as planned. Locked inside with nothing but priceless works of art, he must use all his cunning and invention to survive. Ben Hopkins wrote the screenplay based on an original idea by Katsoupis.

Focus Features

The film is produced by Giorgos Karnavas of Greek production and sales outfit Heretic, which is behind this year’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness and Critics Week winner Feathers. Also producing are Marcos Kantis, and Dries Phlypo and executive produced by Katsoupis, Jim Stark, Konstantinos Kontovrakis, Charles E. Breitkreuz, Martin Lehwald, Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem, and Stephen Kelliher.

Katsoupis and Karnavas said in a joint statement, “It’s a dream to have made this film, the way we wanted to, having the privilege to work with Willem and all these amazing filmmakers that supported us.  Focus is the perfect place for the film, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

“With Inside, Focus continues our commitment to first-time and international filmmakers,” said Kiska Higgs, President of Production & Acquisitions at Focus Features.  “Vasilis’s thought-provoking film explores an experience we’re all now familiar with – isolation – and explores it in a visually stunning way.”

Dafoe’s upcoming movies include Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, Patricia Arquette’s Gonzo Girl and Walter Hill’s Dead for A Dollar. His most recent credits include Robert Eggers’ The Northman, Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley and Jon Watt’s Spiderman: No Way Home, the sixth highest grossing movie of all-time at $1.98 billion.

Upcoming features for Focus include Todd Field’s TÁR, starring Cate Blanchett (Oct. 7); James Gray’s Armageddon Time starring Jeremy Strong and Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway (Oct. 28); Champions directed by Bobby Farrelly and starring Woody Harrelson (March 24, 2023), A.V Rockwell’s directorial debut A Thousand and One starring Teyana Taylor; Spoiler Alert based on Michael Ausiello’s memoir and starring Jim Parsons, Sally Field, and Ben Aldridge (Dec. 2); Polite Society directed by Nida Manzoor and starring Ritu Arya; Bill Holderman’s Book Club 2: The Next Chapter starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Andy Garcia, and Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers starring Paul Giamatti.

Currently in production for Focus is Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City which also stars Dafoe; Lisa Frankenstein from debut feature filmmaker, Zelda Williams, written by Oscar and Tony winner, Diablo Cody, and starring Cole Sprouse and Katheryn Newton. 

Dafoe is represented by WME and Circle of Confusion. Hopkins is represented by Curtis Brown Group.

The deal was negotiated by Bankside’s Stephen Kelliher on behalf of the filmmakers.

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