Having premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, the true crime thriller He Went That Way has been picked up by Vertical for US distribution. Per Deadline, the film stars Jacob Elordi (Priscilla), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) and Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and is the first feature film from cinematographer Jeffrey Darling as a director before his untimely passing last year.
He Went That Way is “set in 1964 and follows 19-year-old serial killer Bobby (Elordi) as he is picked up by a celebrity animal handler, Jim (Quinto), on a desolate stretch of Route 66, with priceless cargo in tow: his chimpanzee, Spanky, an American TV darling. As stress between them rises and their fiery personalities combust, the road only becomes more treacherous the farther they go.”
He Went That Way is based on the true story of celebrity animal trainer Dave Pitts and his famous TV chimp Spanky, the stars of their traveling entertainment show The Ice Capades, and their fateful three-day encounter with serial killer Larry Lee Ranes. The film is also based Luke Karamazov by Conrad Hilberry, a true crime book about a pair of brothers who were serial killers and Hilberry’s conversations with them while they served their sentences as well as their families and others who knew them.
The script was written by Evan M. Wiener (Big Sky) with Quinto and Elordi serving as executive producers alongside Phil Hunt, Medha Jaishankar, Compton Ross, Ananyaa Shah, Lisa Broder, Richard Broder and Lawrence August. Producing is Teashop Production’s Marc Benardout, Hugh Broder, Jeremy L Kotin, James Harris and Mark Lane.
“[We are] so thrilled by the audience response at Tribeca and delighted that Vertical will be bringing this story to theaters,” said the producing team in a joint statement. “It’s been an eighteen-year journey to bring this story to life and now stands as a legacy to our director, the late Jeffrey Darling, who passed away during post-production. Jacob and Zachary brought such an intensity and smart approach to the characters in a story steeped in instinct, infatuation, and incident.”
Jarowey on behalf of Vertical, “We were enthralled by Jacob and Zachary’s gritty chemistry when we watched the film at Tribeca and knew immediately this would be a story audiences would find captivating,” said Vertical’s Peter Jarowey. “We look forward to working with Mister Smith on another collaboration, as we did on The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and The Hating Game, and building upon the success of He Went That Way together.”
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