Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park International has taken foreign sales on Alex Pettyfer’s directorial debut Back Roads, which stars the Magic Mike actor and Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated Juliette Lewis.
The dramatic thriller is based on Tawni O’Dell’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, which was also chosen as an Oprah’s Book Club selection in March 2000. Oscar-nominated Fatal Attraction filmmaker Adrian Lyne and O’Dell wrote the screenplay adaptation of the novel with Lyne serving as EP.
Back Roads follows twenty-something Harley Altymer (Pettyfer), who is stuck raising his three younger sisters after the fatal shooting of their abusive father and their mother’s imprisonment for his murder. His life takes a dangerous turn when he develops a relationship with Callie Mercer (Jennifer Morrison), the married mother of two who lives down the road. As their affair unfurls, family secrets and unspoken truths begin to surface and threaten to consume him, until Harley finds himself the lead suspect in a local murder. Filming recently wrapped in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Back Roads also stars Nicola Peltz and Robert Patrick.
I’ve just added a couple recent photoshoots as well as stills and screen captures from Elvid + Nixon into the gallery. Be sure to check them out!
The competition kicks off today at SXSW as the festival gets underway officially in Austin. One of the pics in the Narrative Feature Competition section is The Strange Ones, which will be making its world premiere Saturday morning at the Stateside Theatre. Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff co-directed the mystery thriller, which stars Alex Pettyfer and James Freedson-Jackson as brothers surrounded by mysterious events as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to a dark and complex web of secrets. WME is repping sales.
The pic is based on Wolkstein and Radcliff’s short film of the same name that also made the fest rounds. Producers include Eric Schultz (James White), Archer Gray’s Shani Geva, Sébastien Aubert, Gamechanger Films’ Mynette Louie and Daniela Taplin Lundberg (The Kids Are All Right, Patti Cake$).
To watch the movie clip, head over to Deadline.
At age 26, actor-model Alex Pettyfer has built a high-profile resumé (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Magic Mike). The multi-talented Brit admits he’s “always wanted to be in control.” Now he’s accomplishing that goal with his newly founded Upturn Publishing, an independent, L.A.-based publisher that aims to spotlight undiscovered writing talent. Pettyfer discusses this new creative challenge in our video series Momentum: A Day in the Life, which offers viewers a glimpse into the busy lives of influential young celebrities.
ettyfer launched Upturn after reading Ashley Mansour’s manuscript for young-adult dystopian sci-fi novel Blood, Ink, and Fire. He decided to help the writer realize her dream. “A lot of books don’t get the recognition for years because the publishing houses feel like they need to have a certain momentum behind the book before they give it a push,” he says. “I just want to give an unknown author the kind of voice in that sense.”
He also highlights his prominent role in comedy-drama Elvis & Nixon, in which he co-stars as Elvis Presley’s best friend, Jerry Schilling. Pettyfer took first-hand on-set advice from the real-life Schilling, who co-produced the film. “He lived it,” Pettyfer says. “It’s not like you can play the guy and then research him, and then he goes away. He was there every day, but he was very supportive. I actually preferred the fact that he was there. It’s the unknown that’s hard, where you don’t know what you’re going to do next.”
While Pettyfer’s schedule is daunting, he thrives on the excitement of new opportunities. “I always like accepting a challenge,” he says.
This morning, Alex, along with his Elvis & Nixon co-stars Johnny Knoxville and Colin Hanks, appeared on Good Morning America to talk about the movie. If you missed it, check out the video below!