South O’ the Highway

Susan Sarandon Leads YouTube Original Movie “Viper Club”

Edie Falco and Matt Bomer add even more star power to the film.

Hampton regulars Susan Sarandon and Edie Falco execute a high-stakes, clandestine rescue operation in the YouTube original movie Viper Club. Could this be YouTube Premium’s first Oscar win?

At the beginning of the film, veteran emergency room nurse Helen Sterling, played by Sarandon, receives the worst news a journalist’s mother can receive: her son has been captured by terrorists in the Middle East. Helen turns to the FBI and State agencies for help—only to hit a wall of classified intelligence and bureaucratic red tape. When things seem helpless, Helen is approached by a group of journalists, advocates and philanthropists with a history of freeing prisoners without government consent, and they want to join her cause.

Susan Sarandon in
Susan Sarandon in “Viper Club,” Photo: Walter Thomson, Courtesy YouTube Premium and Roadside Attractions

Two such members are Sam, a young journalist played by White Collar star Matt Bomer, and the enigmatic activist and mother of a journalist Charlotte, played by Falco. A trailer released on September 10 shows Sam telling Helen that they need to collect $20 million for ransom. To which Helen scoffs, “You can’t expect me to raise $20 million.”

Sam then explains that he has friends willing to covertly contribute the money and then drive it to the drop-off point. Helen is now confronted with the choice of illegally sending ransom money to a terrorist organization or “having to swallow the awful thought that maybe [she] could have done more.” The trailer ends with the group going public with their cause using a video of Helen pleading, “Please…don’t hurt my son.”

Viper Club, directed by Iranian-American filmmaker Maryam Keshavarz, was originally titled “Vulture Club,” but underwent a name change for unknown reasons. It had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival on September 10.

Roadside Attractions will distribute the film to select theaters starting October 26. After its theatrical run, it will be available for streaming through YouTube Premium.

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