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Saban Films Picks Up North American Rights to Hostile Territory

Brian Presley’s action western will have a theatrical release across the United States this year after Saban Films acquired the distribution rights.


Saban Films is planning a nationwide theatrical release for the action-western drama Hostile Territory later this year. The Saban Capital Group subsidiary has had a pretty busy slate since its inception in 2014, releasing several notable movies, including Tom Hanks comedy-drama A Hologram for the King and 2017’s Power Rangers. Both those films were joint ventures with larger production companies, though, with Saban Films yet to have a stellar breakout movie of its own.

However, the production studio does have high hopes Hostile Territory could be a major feature after acquiring the North American distribution rights earlier this month. The film, previously titled The Orphan Train, attempts to weave a compelling and emotionally fraught narrative surrounding the little-known tale of the ‘Orphan Train Movement’ that ran across America from 1854 – 1929.


President of Saban films Bill Bromiley announced the acquisition with the following statement:

“We were incredibly moved by Brian’s telling of this story, which perfectly captures the grit and resiliency of the American settlers and provides an example of how people can come together for the common good. The fact that this orphan train actually existed and was in practice during the post-Civil War era is astounding.”

The social welfare program aimed to carry orphaned children from densely populated cities on the eastern seafront across America to areas that were still being or had recently been incorporated into the larger United States. The controversial movement is believed to have rehomed and, in many cases, separated around 250,000 children during its tenure. An estimated 2 million Americans today are able to trace their heritage back to one of the passengers aboard that train.

Hostile Territory follows the story of a Union Soldier played by Matt McCoy (The Hand That Rocked the Cradle, The Ice Road) who is presumed dead after being held in a POW camp during the American Civil War. Upon his release following the end of the war, he finds that his children have been consigned to the Orphan Train Movement and he embarks on a journey to get them back. Meanwhile, his children find it hard to adapt to life on the new frontier until some unlikely individuals come together for the greater good to promote equality in the wild-west.

The previous title arguably does a better job of framing the film’s narrative, but it was likely changed to avoid confusion with the 1979 drama Orphan Train starring Glenn Close. Whilst the 1979 TV movie was a more slow-paced saga focusing on the struggles of the train itself and those aboard; Hostile Territory promises to offer a lot more grit, action and triumph of the American spirit. As the tagline promises, McCoy’s Union Soldier will ‘find his children at any cost.’

Hostile Territory also stars Brea Bee (Silver Linings Playbook, The Goldbergs), Brad Leland (Deepwater Horizon), Lew Temple (The Devil’s Rejects), Craig Tate (King Richard) and writer/director himself, Brian Presley. The film is slated for release later this year; however, Saban Films have offered no further information at this point.

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