Shout! Studios, the multi-platform entertainment distribution and production arm of Shout! Factory, has acquired North American rights to Head Count, a neo-western thriller from Continuance Pictures and Method Media. Filmmakers The Burghart Brothers, Jacob and Ben Burghart are directing Head Count from a screenplay they have written with Josh Doke. In the style of Blood Simple meets Memento, the upcoming feature film pits an escaped convict against a set of improbable scenarios and a cast of wild characters on his journey of violence, love, and redemption. Austin Wagoner, Tristan Barr, and David Gim serve as producers. Executive producers are Chris Knitter, Jordan Rioux, Josh Winnington, Ken Kimura, Ari Harrison, Mike Barr, Jason Bunn, Addam Bramich, Simon Barrett, and Jordan Fields.
The Burghart Brothers, the producing team, and Shout! Studios also announced that Aaron Jakubenko (The Shannara Chronicles, Tidelands), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood, The Oath), Melanie Zanetti (Raven’s Hollow, Bluey), Chris Bylsma (El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, Godless), Addam Bramich (Poker Face), Polaris Banks (Reklaw), and Cinnamon Shultz (Winter’s Bone) have joined the cast.
A production of The Burghart Brothers, Continuance Pictures, and Method Media, Head Count follows ‘Kat’ (Aaron Jakubenko), who, after escaping prison, finds his own revolver pointed to his head by an unknown assailant. As the empty rounds click away, Kat tries to remember what happened to each bullet, as impulsive officer ‘Sawyer’ (Ryan Kwanten) is hot on his tail, and his ex-lover ‘Jo’ (Melanie Zanetti) reappears in his life. But he must remember, one bullet at a time.
Shout! Studios has secured all distribution rights in North America to Head Count, including theatrical, digital, video-on-demand, and home entertainment for cross-platform releases. Shout! Studios and filmmakers plan a strategic launch of this movie next year, beginning with major film festivals and film markets in 2023.
“The Burghart brothers have written a taut, modern western that delivers a story and characters both savage and darkly charming. They have a unique voice, and we are excited to help launch what will surely be a long, successful career in features, beginning with their thrilling Head Count,” stated Jordan Fields, Vice President of Acquisitions at Shout! Studios.
“After 20 years of filmmaking—from shooting backyard movies as kids to premiering our latest short at Fantasia in 2020—we’re excited to be in production on our first feature film, Head Count. Having Continuance Pictures, Method Media, Shout! Studios, and our expert producing team behind us, this project is both exciting and humbling.” – Ben Burghart
“Head Count is a chance for us to show off our love of stylish neo-noir, westerns and sharp thrillers. Our favorite films have deeply flawed, but charming lead characters, and distinctive worlds built out of the director’s imaginations. We wanted to make a film that revs up quick and doesn’t let it’s foot off the gas.” – Jacob Burghart
“After Executive Producing their stylish spectacle of a short film Suspense that played at the Fantasia International Film Festival amongst many, we are excited to have set up “The Burghart Brothers” equally enthralling first feature Head Count with some incredible talent and distribution partner in Shout! Studios, particularly after the recent success of Old Henry internationally.” – Tristan Barr, Continuance Pictures Co-Founder.
The movie deal was negotiated by Shout’s Jordan Fields and Joseph Lanius of LANIUS Law & Associates on behalf of the filmmakers.