Martin Scorsese is partnering with The Weinstein Company to help introduce “Easy Money” to American audiences.
Directed by Daniel Espinosa, the Swedish thriller has become a cult favorite across the globe since its release in Jan. 2010. The Weinstein Company originally acquired the rights to the picture (known as “Snabba Cash” in Swedish) after the 2010 Berlin Film Festival. In the years since, the film’s star, Joel Kinnaman (“Lola Versus”), has become a familiar face to U.S. audiences with his role on AMC’s “The Killing.” Espinosa, meanwhile, helmed Universal’s “Safe House” which became a surprise hit this February and has grossed $202 million worldwide. The filmmaker is currently developing “The Outsider” for Warner Bros.
The studio’s official synopsis describes the picture as a drama of interweaving story lines involving three key players related to a Swedish drug trafficking ring. Lower-class business student JW (Kinnaman) falls in love with a sexy heiress while living a double life mingling with Stockholm’s wealthy elite. To keep up the façade of his lifestyle, he’s lured into a world of crime. Jorge is a petty fugitive on the run from both the police and Serbian mafia. He hopes that brokering a massive cocaine deal will allow him to escape for good. Mafia enforcer Mrado is on the hunt for Jorge, but his efforts are complicated when he’s unexpectedly saddled with caring for his young daughter. As JW’s journey ventures deeper into the dark world of organized crime, the fate of all three men becomes entangled and ends with a dramatic struggle for life and death.
In a statement provided to HitFix, Scorsese noted, “I was deeply impressed by Daniel Espinosa’s ‘Easy Money’ – by the harsh, elemental style, which reflects the milieu and the lives of the characters; by the powerful sense of fate, of well-meaning people who take one wrong turn and end up paying a terrible price; by the frightening and surprising evolution of the hero. Easy Money is a tough story and a film to be reckoned with.”
“‘Easy Money’ affirms Daniel Espinosa is a major talent and features the star- making performance by ‘The Killing’s’ Joel Kinnaman,” said Weinstein. “This taut suspense thriller struck a chord with me, and I’m excited that a visionary like Martin Scorsese shares my passion for this film.”
Espinosa added, “It’s an honor for me, that Harvey Weinstein and Martin Scorsese have embraced ‘Easy Money’ and share my passion for storytelling. I couldn’t imagine this film being in better hands for its U.S. debut.”
“Easy Money” was written by Jens Lapidus and Maria Karlsson, and produced by Fredrik Wikstrom. Michael Hjorth served as executive producer. Lapidus’ international best-selling novel is the first in a trilogy, published by Wahlström & Widstrand, that has developed a fiercely loyal global following and the Snabba Cash novel was just released in the U.S. last month by Random House Imprint Pantheon.
Warner Bros. holds the remake rights to “Snabba Cash” and is developing a new version that would find Zac Efron in the Kinnaman role. Kinnaman will be seen next year in the lead role in MGM’s reboot of “Robocop.”
“Easy Money” opens domestically in limited release on July 11. The official U.S. poster, a modification of the film’s original Swedish Key Art, is included below.