He Went That Way, a true crime serial killer film starring Jacob Elordi and Zachary Quinto, has just secured U.S. distribution
Jacob Elordi, who plays Elvis Presley in Sofia Coppola’s upcoming film Priscilla, and Zachary Quinto, who is best known for playing Spock in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies, have the lead roles in the true crime serial killer film He Went That Way, and Deadline reports that Vertical has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the film. The specifics of their release plans have not yet been revealed, but we know that it involves a theatrical release sometime in early 2024. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Festival this past June.
He Went That Way marks the feature directorial debut of Jeffrey Darling, who previously worked as a cinematographer on the films The Crossing, Young Einstein, Princess Kate, and The Place at the Coast. Sadly, Darling’s first movie is also his last, as he passed away in March of 2022. The film is set in 1964 and is described as “a wicked spin on the buddy road trip pic”. The story 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.
Deadline notes that the film is based on “the true story of celebrity animal trainer Dave Pitts, his famous TV chimp, Spanky — who served as the centerpiece of the traveling entertainment show, The Ice Capades — and their fateful three-day encounter with serial killer Larry Lee Ranes. In addition to the real-life account from Pitts, the sole survivor of Ranes’ killing spree, it draws inspiration from the book Luke Karamazov by Conrad Hilberry.” That book, which was inspired by the story of Larry Lee Ranes and his brother Danny Arthur Ranes, who was also a serial killer, has the following description: Was it because they were subconsciously trying to kill the drunken, violent man that was their father that brothers Luke Karamazov (a.k.a. Ralph Searl) and Tommy Searl from Kalamazoo became serial murderers? Addressing this and other questions, author Conrad Hilberry presents an unusually vivid and detailed portrait of two contrasting psychological types in this account. In 1964, Luke confessed to a five-week murder spree in which he killed five men. Tommy was convicted of the rape and murder of four women in 1972. Hilberry investigates the relationship between the brothers, as well as their feelings about their parents, about the prison staff, and about the woman who has been married to each of them. With the drama of fiction, the resulting story is bizarre, somewhat grisly, but always psychologically revealing.
Evan M. Wiener wrote the screenplay for He Went That Way. Marc Benardout, Hugh Broder, Jeremy L Kotin, James Harris, and Mark Lane produced the film, with Elordi and Quinto serving as executive producers alongside Phil Hunt, Medha Jaishankar, Compton Ross, Ananyaa Shah, Lisa Broder, Richard Broder, and Lawrence August.
The producers provided a statement saying they are “so thrilled by the audience response at Tribeca and delighted that Vertical will be bringing this story to theatres. 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.“
Vertical’s Peter Jarowey added, “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.“
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Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/he-went-that-way/