Forsaken (2015 film)

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Forsaken Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJon Cassar
Produced by
  • Isabella Marchese Ragona
  • Bill Marks
  • Gary Howsam
  • Kevin DeWalt
  • Josh Miller
Written byBrad Mirman
Music byJonathan Goldsmith
CinematographyRene Ohashi
Edited bySusan Shipton
Distributed byMomentum Pictures
Release date
  • September 14, 2015 (2015-09-14) (TIFF)
  • February 19, 2016 (2016-02-19) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
  • Canada
  • France
  • United States
Budget$11 million

Forsaken is a 2015 Canadian Western drama film directed by Jon Cassar, from a screenplay by Brad Mirman. The film stars Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Brian Cox, Michael Wincott, Aaron Poole and Demi Moore; the film had its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 16, 2015.[1] The film was released on February 19, 2016.[2] Executive Producer on the film was Douglas Falconer.


In 1872, after abandoning his gun and reputation as a quick-draw killer, John Henry Clayton (Kiefer Sutherland) returns to his hometown in hopes of repairing his relationship with his estranged father (Donald Sutherland), but a local gang on the orders of James McCurdy (Brian Cox) is terrorizing the town, and John Henry may be the only one who can stop them.



Kiefer Sutherland and Jon Cassar, who directed 58 episodes of Sutherland's TV series 24 had discussed for years the idea of doing a Western film together. Sutherland eventually commissioned Brad Mirman to write a screenplay for such a film, to co-star Sutherland's father, veteran actor Donald Sutherland.[3] While the two had appeared together in two films previously—Max Dugan Returns (1983) and A Time to Kill (1996)—they had never shared a scene.[3] Produced for $20 million, it began shooting in July 2013 at the CL Ranch in Springbank, Alberta, near Calgary, and was wrapped by September,[3] it was also announced that Kevin DeWalt would produce under his Minds Eye Entertainment banner, with Josh Miller also producing under his Panacea Entertainment banner.[3]

In June 2015, some actors who had worked on the film two years earlier under ACTRA Alberta contracts, but who were still owed wages, were paid; the following month, approximately 100 members of the crew union IATSE local 212 and of the Directors Guild of Canada were in the process of being paid a total of $300,000 still owed. The Alberta Labour Relations Board had ruled in April 2015 that the production companies—Redemption Alberta Inc., Redemption Productions Inc., Panacea Entertainment Inc., Regina’s Minds Eye Entertainment Ltd., and Kiefer Sutherland’s Camel Entertainment Inc.—would not be allowed to access approximately $1.7-million in Alberta Film Grant money until issues with the film's workers and suppliers were resolved.[4]


Principal photography on the film began in July 2013, in Calgary, with a budget of $11 million.[3]


Forsaken had its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival during its 40th anniversary, on September 16, 2015.[5][6] Prior to the film's premiere at the festival, Momentum Pictures acquired U.S distribution rights to the film,[7][8] it then went onto screen at the Zurich Film Festival on September 25, 2015, where Kiefer Sutherland won The Golden Eye Award.[9] The film was released in the United States on February 19, 2016.[10]


The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 43% rating based on 40 reviews. Metacritic gave it 56/100 points based on 16 critics, labeling it "mixed or average". It's currently rated 6.3/10 points on IMDb.


The film was nominated for 5 categories at the 4th Canadian Screen Awards: Art direction/Production design, cinematography, costume design, make-up and sound editing.


  1. ^ "Forsaken". Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on February 14, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Cite web requires |website= (help)
  2. ^ Billington, Alex (January 20, 2016). "Watch: Kiefer & Donald Sutherland in Trailer for Western 'Forsaken'". Retrieved January 28, 2016. Cite web requires |website= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e Volmers, Eric (September 26, 2013). "Sutherland father, son appear onscreen in gunslinger film shot in Calgary area". Calgary Herald via Archived from the original on May 29, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Cite news requires |newspaper= (help); Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ Volmers, Eric (July 24, 2015). "Film workers finally paid for troubled Alberta-shot Kiefer Sutherland western, Forsaken". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "Emma Watson, Kate Winslet, and Many More Are Ready to Blow You Away at the Fall's Biggest Film Festival". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Toronto to open with 'Demolition'; world premieres for 'Trumbo', 'The Program'". ScreenDaily. July 28, 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (September 14, 2015). "Kiefer Sutherland Western 'Forsaken' Bought by Momentum for U.S." Variety. Archived from the original on January 4, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (September 14, 2015). "Kiefer & Donald Sutherland Western 'Forsaken' Acquired By Momentum". Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  9. ^ Roxborough, Scott (September 3, 2015). "Zurich Film Festival: Kiefer Sutherland to Receive Golden Eye Award". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  10. ^ Lowen, Mike (January 12, 2016). "Exclusive 'Forsaken' Poster Teases Kiefer and Donald Sutherland's First Big Screen Collaboration". Archived from the original on January 18, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Cite web requires |website= (help)

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