HBO Acquires Barry Levinson’s ‘The Survivor,’ Starring Ben Foster

HBO Films has acquired the North American rights to “The Survivor,” a Harry Haft biopic produced and directed by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson. The deal comes after the film premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Based on Alan Haft’s book “Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano,” “The Survivor” stars Ben Foster (“Leave No Trace,” “Hell or High Water”) as Haft, an escaped Auschwitz prisoner who is forced to perform in boxing matches by his captor before moving to New York and using his boxing skills to help find the woman he loves.

Along with Foster, “The Survivor” also stars Vicky Krieps (“Phantom Thread”), Billy Magnussen (“No Time to Die”), Peter Sarsgaard (“Jackie”), Saro Emirze (“Wilsberg”), Dar Zuzovsky (“Hostages”), Danny DeVito (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) and John Leguizamo (“Latin History for Morons”).

“The Survivor” comes from BRON and New Mandate Films.

This will not mark the first time a Levinson film debuts on HBO. The director has helmed “Paterno,” “You Don’t Know Jack” and “The Wizard of Lies” for the network, amassing a combined 26 Emmys across his previous HBO films.

“Having done numerous films at HBO, I don’t know of a better home for ‘The Survivor,’” Levinson said in a statement.

“We are immensely proud to bring ‘The Survivor’ to the HBO and HBO Max audience,” HBO Programming EVP Francesca Orsi said in a statement. “Barry’s meticulous exploration of this true story of unimaginable choices, perseverance and redemption coupled with Ben’s transformative performance will captivate viewers and stay with them long after the credits roll.”

WME Independent brokered the deal with HBO.

“The Survivor” garnered favorable reviews from critics after its launch at the Toronto International Film Festival. In his reviewVariety chief film critic Owen Gleiberman called the movie “[Levinson’s] best film in years.”