According to the Hollywood Reporter, STXFilms has spent a considerable amount, rumoured to be in the eight-figure range, pre-buying the distribution rights to an upcoming film from French company StudioCanal and The Picture Company. STXFilms owns the distribution rights in North America, Latin America, and China.

The film is titled Gunpowder Milkshake, and its female leads are all well-known actresses: Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy), Lena Headey(Game of Thrones), Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Angela Bassett (Black Panther), Carla Gugino (Watchmen) and Chloe Coleman (Big Little Lies) are all confirmed for roles in this movie.

Although details of the plot are sketchy at present, it appears to revolve around a sisterhood of assassins coming to help a mother-daughter duo of assassins, ending a cycle of violence in a single night.

Gunpowder Milkshake is marketed as an action thriller, and certainly Karen Gillan, and Michelle Yeoh have had action roles. However, those have been in superhero movies, or stylized Asian martial arts movies, where the characters are inevitably larger-than-life.

Can director Navot Papushado achieve a relatively “realistic” depiction of athletics in a more grounded film? That remains to be seen.

Writer/director Navot Papushado and writer Ehud Lavski worked together previously on Big Bad Wolves, a Jewish revenge movie that received Quentin Tarantino’s approval, so they do have the writing chops to make a good movie.

It does appear that Gunpowder Milkshake will be Papushado’s first directing job in an English language movie, which may prove interesting.

Whether or not its European origins can overcome the general indifference that female-led action movies attract among audiences also remains to be seen. If it is a good movie, and its marketing is not seen as misandristic, then it stands a chance.

I confess to a certain weakness for quirky European films, so if Gunpowder Milkshake comes to New Zealand I may take a look at it.