David Oyelowo’s Directorial Debut ‘The Water Man’ Acquired by RLJE Films

We always love to see an actor take the leap from working in front of the camera to behind it. And the next star to make that transition is David Oyelowo. Some of Oyelowo’s best and most recent work has been in Selma, Gringo, and Come Away. Now for his directorial debut, he helms the family adventure film, The Water Man, which has been acquired by RLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, for North America, and by Netflix for the rest of the world.

The film had its world premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival to much critical praise and also opened this year’s Urbanworld Film Festival. Oyelowo had this to say about the film,

“While in some ways this film is a father and son story, at its core it’s also a love letter to mothers everywhere and is dedicated to my own. To be able to share my directorial debut, THE WATER MAN, with the world through the hands of RLJE Films and Netflix is a dream come true for me.”

In The Water Man Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who possesses the secret to immortality, the Water Man. After enlisting the help of a mysterious local girl, Jo (Amiah Miller), they journey together into the remote Wild Horse forest — but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them and in the process will discover who his son really is.

The Water Man, a Black List script written by Emma Needell, also stars Rosario Dawson (“Luke Cage”), Lonnie Chavis (“This is Us”), Amiah Miller (War For the Planet of the Apes), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) and Maria Bello (“NCIS”).

Oyelowo also stars in the film which is produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films, ShivHans Pictures, and Yoruba Saxon. In North America, the film is expected to be released day-and-date in theaters and PVOD on May 7, 2021 and Netflix will release the film internationally later this year. We’ll post the trailer as soon as it’s available.