Brand New Testament: Jaco Van Dormael’s Cannes Fest Film

Music Box acquired U.S. rights to Jaco Van Dormael’s The Brand New Testament, a Brussels-based eccentric, surreal comedy starring Benoit Poelvoorde as a tyrannical God.

The movie, which world-premiered at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight and repped Belgium in the Oscars’ foreign-language race, reimagines God as a jerk living in Brussels who clashes with his daughter, the 10-year old Ea. Setting off to save humanity from her father, Ea hacks into his computer and leaks to the entire world via text message their date of death. Poelvoorde stars opposite Catherine Deneuve, Francois Damiens and Yolande Moreau.

Deal was negotiated between Music Box Films’ president William Schopf and Camille Neel, head of international sales at Le Pacte.

“For American audiences unfamiliar with Jaco Van Dormael’s singular vision, they are in for a unique treat. Comedic, surreal, philosophical, deadly serious and visually witty, ‘The Brand New Testament’ has been a hit in every territory it has opened so far and we’re eager to work towards that end in the US,” said Ed Arentz, Music Box Films’s managing director.

Music Box will release the movie in the fall.

“The Brand New Testament”‘s producer Daniel Marquet previously worked with Music Box Films on the “Millennium” series, including “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

The company’s recent acquisitions include Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud’s “Seasons,” Hannes Holm’s Swedish B.O. hit “A Man Called Ove,” Anne Fontaine’s Sundance-premiering “The Innocents” and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s docu “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” which also opened at Sundance.