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Viggo Mortensen Western ‘The Dead Don’t Hurt’ Scores Sales for HanWay



“The Dead Don’t Hurt,” the Viggo Mortensen-directed Western in which the three-time Oscar nominee stars alongside Vicky Krieps, has landed a number of international sales for HanWay Films.

Newly confirmed territory deals for the film — a Talipot Studio, Recorded Picture and Perceval Pictures production — include France (Metropolitan), Spain (Wanda & Elastica), Scandinavia (Scanbox), U.K. (Signature), Benelux (Imagine), Poland (Galapagos), Middle East (Front Row), Singapore (Shaw) and Airlines/Ships (Cinesky).

Regina Solórzano, Jeremy Thomas and Mortensen produce the picture, which also stars Solly McLeod (“House of the Dragon”), Danny Huston (“Worlds Apart”), Garret Dillahunt (“Blonde”), Colin Morgan  (“Legend”), Ray McKinnon (“Knox Goes Away”) and W. Earl Brown (“The Unforgivable”).

A Western love story set in the 1860s, “The Dead Don’t Hurt” sees Krieps play Vivienne Le Coudy, a fiercely independent French Canadian who embarks on a relationship with Danish immigrant Holger Olsen (Mortensen). After meeting Olsen in San Francisco, Vivienne agrees to travel with him to his home near the quiet town of Elk Flats, where they start a life together. The Civil War separates them, leaving Vivienne to fend for herself in a place controlled by powerful rancher Alfred Jeffries (Dillahunt) and his violent, wayward son Weston (McLeod), aided and abetted by corrupt Mayor Rudolph Schiller (Huston). Olsen’s eventual return challenges their relationship as they have to confront and make peace with the person each has become. 

“My aim is to do justice to the story of a uniquely resilient woman living in a lawless and isolated part of the U.S. Southwest in the 1860s,” Mortensen said. “Vivienne is a woman for all seasons; courageous, unfailingly honest and direct, yet capable of great empathy. The idea is to not simply have a woman play the leading role in a Western — but to have her lead the way in our story by virtue of her fiercely uncompromising nature. Vivienne is a real woman who stands alone in her time and place because of her principled behavior, forward thinking and passion for life. We are very fortunate to have the talented Vicky Krieps embody this role.”

Talipot Studio independently funded the film, shot predominantly in Durango, Mexico, where Talipot oversaw the production. A brief part of the filming was also done in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada, funded by Perceval Pictures. HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales and distribution.

“It was so delightful working with Viggo Mortensen as an actor on ‘A Dangerous Method’ and on his directorial debut ‘Falling,’ and I am excited about ‘The Dead Don’t Hurt.’ I’m thrilled to be working on a Western for today,” Thomas said.

Added Solórzano: “’The Dead Don’t Hurt’ revolutionizes the codes of the Western genre, leaving the concept of the war of men aside to witness a love story free of archetypes, and the struggle and determination of a woman to win the most epic of battles: surviving abuse and extreme violence without ever betraying herself.”

Mortensen is represented by Theresa Peters at UTA and Lynn Rawlins; Krieps by Chris Andrews (CAA) and Renée Aakrann (Viktoria Productions).


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