David Oyelwo’s family adventure film, The Water Man, has been acquired by RLJE Films.
RLJE Films is a business unit of AMC Networks, for North America, and by Netflix for the rest of the world. RLJE Films’ recent features include Color Out of Space starring Nicolas Cage and Joely Richardson and written and directed by Richard Stanley; the critically acclaimed horror film The Dark And The Wicked from director Bryan Bertino; Steve Byrne’s The Opening Act from producers Vince Vaughn and Peter Billingsley; David Ayer’s The Tax Collector and Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Archenemy. Upcoming films include Sion Sono’s 2021 Sundance Film Festival premiere Prisoners of the Ghostland starring Nicolas Cage and Sofia Boutella and Shoplifters of the World from director Stephen Kijak.
The Water Man is the directorial debut of acclaimed actor David Oyelowo (Selma), which he also stars in, and is produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films, ShivHans Pictures, and Yoruba Saxon. The film had its world premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival to much critical praise and also opened this year’s Urbanworld Film Festival.
The Water Man, a Black List script written by Emma Needell, also stars Rosario Dawson (Luke Cage), Lonnie Chavis (This is Us), Amiah Miller (War For the Planet of the Apes), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) and Maria Bello (NCIS).
In The Water Man, Gunner (Chavis) sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who possesses the secret to immortality, the Water Man. After enlisting the help of a mysterious local girl, Jo (Miller), they journey together into the remote Wild Horse forest — but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them and in the process will discover who his son really is.
“While in some ways this film is a father and son story, at its core it’s also a love letter to mothers everywhere and is dedicated to my own. To be able to share my directorial debut, The Water Man, with the world through the hands of RLJE Films and Netflix is a dream come true for me,” said Oyelowo in the press release.
The Water Man is produced by Oyelowo (A United Kingdom), Carla Gardini (Delilah), Shivani Rawat (Wander Darkly) and Monica Levinson (Golden Globe nominees Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Trial of The Chicago 7) and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple), Darren M. Demetre (Lean on Pete), Connor Flanagan (Wander Darkly) and Emma Needell.
In North America the film is expected to be released in theaters and PVOD on May 7, 2021 and Netflix will release the film internationally later this year.