EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate’s Grindstone Entertainment Group has acquired North American rights to Dead Man’s Hand — a Western starring Stephen Dorff (True Detective), Jack Kilmer (The Nice Guys) and Cole Hauser (Yellowstone), which just recently wrapped production in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In the film from Milestone Studios, the retired gunslinger Reno (Kilmer) joins forces with a new marshal (Hauser) to take on the cruel cattle baron, Mayor Clarence Bishop (Dorff).
Reno, a newly married gunfighter, hangs up his six-shooters when he says “I do” to his bride, Vegas. But when Reno kills a bandit in self-defense, he finds himself pulled back into his old ways. The bandit’s brother, the ruthless Mayor Bishop, will not let his brother’s death go unpunished. As revenge, Bishop and his private army ambush Reno and Vegas, leaving the gunfighter near death and taking Reno’s wife prisoner. Reno then teams up with Marshal Roy McCutcheon to channel his fury as he swears revenge on every single bastard who hurt them.
The film written and directed by Brian Skiba (The 2nd, Pursuit) is based on the graphic novel No Rest of the Wicked – Dead Man’s Hand, penned by Kevin Minor and Matthew Minor. Skiba produced for SkibaVision, along with Laurie Love and Jim Burleson, with Alan B. Bursteen, Dawn Bursteen, Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb serving as exec producers.
Dead Man’s Hand is the second Hauser-led feature that Milestone has produced, on the heels of the thriller The Minute You Wake Up Dead, which has him starring alongside Jaimie Alexander and Morgan Freeman. The company is also currently in development on The Gunslingers — another Western from Skiba.
“Dead Man’s Hand is a western rooted in a tragic love story followed by retaliation and nonstop action,” said Skiba. “I couldn’t be more appreciative to my producing team, the cast, the crew, and Milestone, who collaborated to bring this story to life. Kilmer, Dorff and Hauser gave exceptional performances, while the scenic Great Plains of Santa Fe provided the perfect backdrop for this western.”
“I was excited to get behind this incredibly gritty story depicting the struggles and spirit of the American West and work with director, Brian Skiba, who had a clear vision for the project,” said Milestone Studios’ Co-Founder, Dawn Bursteen. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such gifted individuals and am looking forward to collaborating with Brian again on the upcoming western, Gunslingers.”
Added Milestone President Alan B. Bursteen: “I am a huge fan of authentic westerns and was happy to secure the financing and distribution for this project. Looking ahead to 2023, Milestone has a strong diverse slate in several different genres with a community of talented writers and filmmakers.”
Stated Grindstone’s Brooker in closing: “Dead Man’s Hand is a compelling western with visceral, thrilling action. The movie raises the stakes in a story of righteous but ferocious revenge that will keep audiences riveted.”
Notable recent projects for Dorff include Potsy Ponciroli’s acclaimed Western Old Henry and Fox’s Deputy. The actor has also previously been seen in films including I’ll Find You, Leatherface, The Iceman, Somewhere, Public Enemies, World Trade Center, Cold Creek Manor, Zoolander, Blade and I Shot Andy Warhol, and on such series as True Detective and Star. Other upcoming projects for him include Tony Kaye’s dark comedy The Trainer and the action-thriller King of Killers with Frank Grillo, to name just a couple.
Kilmer is known for his work in films including Hala, Lords of Chaos, The Nice Guys, Len and Company, The Stanford Prison Experiment and Palo Alto, among others. His recent TV credits include Willow, Law & Order: Organized Crime and Roku’s Immoral Compass. He also recently associate produced and appeared in the award-winning Amazon documentary Val about his father, Val Kilmer.
Hauser is an Independent Spirit Award nominee perhaps best known for his role as ranch hand Rip Wheeler in Paramount Network’s acclaimed Western drama series Yellowstone from creator Taylor Sheridan, which returned for its fifth season in November. The actor has also been seen on series like Lifetime’s The Lizzie Borden Chronicles and Audience Network’s Rogue, among others. Notable film credits include Transcendence, Olympus Has Fallen, A Good Day to Die Hard, The Break-Up, 2 Fast 2 Furious, White Oleander, Good Will Hunting, Dazed and Confused and School Ties.
Grindstone Entertainment negotiated the deal for Dead Man’s Hand with Alan B. Bursteen on behalf of the filmmakers.
Skiba is repped by Culture Cretive Entertainment and attorney Max Sprecher; Dorff by Atlas Artists and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Kilmer by Gersh, Authentic Talent and Literary Management and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum; and Hauser by APA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Yorn, Levine, Barnes.