- Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
- LOS ANGELES
David Mackenzie--director of Hell or High Water, the acclaimed film that’s earned four Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture--has signed with L.A.-based Ruffian for commercial representation.
A heist drama set in West Texas, Hell or High Water is centered on a pair of bank-robbing brothers (Toby portrayed by Chris Pine and Tanner by Ben Foster) and the two Texas Rangers (Jeff Bridges as Marcus and Gil Birmingham as Alberto) pursuing them. Toby, a divorced father and pretty much a straight arrow of a guy, and Tanner, an ex-con with a short fuse and a loose trigger finger, team to rob branch after branch of the bank that is foreclosing on their family land. Their robberies are a means to combat a systematically rigged financial game stacked against them. Meanwhile Marcus is looking for one last triumph on the eve of his retirement; he and Birmingham are constantly trading barbs, which do little to conceal what is a deep-rooted friendship. The character-driven story generates empathy as well as sympathy for the couples on both sides of the law—though in no way making excuses for the brothers’ crimes.
In addition to being in the running for Best Picture, Hell or High Water earned Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Original Screenplay (Taylor Sheridan) and Best Achievement in Film Editing (Jake Roberts).
“I’ve been wanting to direct commercials for quite some time,” said Mackenzie, enthusiastic to be entering the American market. “I arrive as an experienced film director, rather than an ingénue, and am very excited to be working with Ruffian and about the possibilities ahead.”
Ruffian founder/EP Robert Herman said of Mackenzie, “He’s a massive talent. We’re very much aligned in terms of our strategies. It’s about finding the right partners who are looking to make bold ideas with a world class director who inspires them.”
Prior to earning the four Oscar nods, Hell or High Water garnered three Golden Globe nominations as well as six Critics’ Choice Award noms (for Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor for Bridges and Foster, Best Acting Ensemble, and Best Original Screenplay).
“The film was always going to live or die on its characters,” observed Mackenzie, who added, “These are characters that come alive as much through their behavior as their spoken words. The thought of directing performance-driven work in advertising is very exciting, and Ruffian feels like the right place for me.”
Ruffian is represented by Bueno on the West Coast, Cousin James on the East Coast, and Dawn Rao in the Midwest.