Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Another weekend, another dozen-plus Specialty films entering the crowded theatrical market. The end of summer opened the floodgates of limited release titles and momentum has continued into fall. A number, of course, are four walling in support of their VOD/digital release and often disappear after a couple of weeks. Most execs have expressed concern for the saturation, but maintain that their releases are unique and have a shot at standing out in a crowded market. Noted one indie veteran this week, “It is both not sustainable and not going to change. There is an embarrassment of riches in the theatrical marketplace this season so you better have the goods if you want to compete.” This week’s Preview includes nine of the newcomers hitting theaters this weekend. Notably, two of the week’s biggest roll outs are targeted toward niche (albeit large niches) markets. Bollywood will have a big North American roll out with Besharam from Reliance, while faith-centered audiences will welcome Grace Unplugged via Roadside and Lionsgate. Among the others bowing in limited release are Phase 4′s Slamdance winner The Dirties, Magnolia’s Bad Milo!, Ketchup’s doc Linsanity, Film Arcade’s A.C.O.D., Sundance titles I Used To Be Darker from Strand and Sundance Selects’ doc The Summit. And Paladin will open Five Dances in limited release.
Director-writer: Matthew Johnson
Writers: Josh Boles, Matthew Miller, Evan Morgan
Cast: Matthew Johnson, Own Williams, Krista Madison, Brandon Wickens, Jay McCarrol
Distributor: Phase 4
2013 Slamdance Grand Jury Prize winner The Dirties. The drama revolves around two best friends who film a comedy about getting revenge on bullies at their high school, but one of the would-be filmmakers takes matters beyond a big screen fantasy. “Elyse Seiden from the Kevin Smith Movie Club saw the film at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival and brought it to us and Kevin,” said Phase 4 CEO Berry Meyerowitz. “Kevin was over the top about the film so he pursued it for our label together. The club is a great jumping off point for independent filmmakers, and The Dirties is the type of movie that has just the right amount of edge to mobilize and create conversation among the Kevin Smith fan base.” Phase 4 is hoping to broaden the film’s audience beyond the KS Club’s core 18-34 male group via the topic of bullying. “Our intent with the audience is to create conversation around bullying while also positioning this film against others of its kind,” said Meyerowitz. “The Dirties is unique in how it takes a neutral stance while creating understanding of the plight of the victims and the (potential) consequences of bullying.” Read More »
Adam Scott stars in Sundance comedy A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce) as a man still dealing with his parents’ bitter split who has to bring his embattled family together when his younger brother gets engaged. The comedy is directed by Stuart Zicherman (ABC’s Six Degrees) and written by Zicherman and Ben Karlin. Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Jessica Alba, Amy Poehler, and Clark Duke also star in the pic which is set for an October 4 release via Paramount Home Media and The Film Arcade. Check out the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Amy Poehler is in final negotiations to join the Black Bear Pictures comedy A.C.O.D. She will star in the film alongside her Parks and Recreation co-star Adam Scott. Directed by Stu Zicherman, the comedy focuses on a young man (Scott) who discovers that he was enlisted in a study about divorced children many years ago. When he’s ushered into a present-day follow-up study, it creates new havoc for his family. Script was written by Zicherman and Ben Karlin. Poehler will play Richard Jenkins’ new wife, who is enemies with his first wife (played by Catherine O’Hara).
Poehler just wrapped the fourth season of Parks and Recreation. A.C.O.D. also stars Jessica Alba, Jane Lynch and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Shooting begins next week in Atlanta. Poehler is represented by WME and 3 Arts.
EXCLUSIVE: Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been added to a cast with the previously announced Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins and Jane Lynch in the comedy directed by Stuart Zicherman and based on a script from Zicherman and Ben Karlin. Karlin and Tim Perell will produce. Winstead will play Lauren Stinger, a long-time girlfriend of Carter (Scott) and the rock in his increasingly chaotic life. Teddy Schwarzman is producing and fully financing A.C.O.D. via his company Black Bear Pictures.
Next up for Winstead is the starring role of Mary Todd Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter based on the bestselling novel. She also starred in Sundance’s Smashed along with Aaron Paul and Octavia Spencer. Her other credits include Live Free Or Die Hard, The Thing and Scott Pilgrim Vs.The World. She is represented by CAA and attorney Karl Austen.
Black Bear Pictures recently wrapped Broken City, starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones and the untitled Ramin Bahrani film with Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid. Black Bear will produce J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost starring Robert Redford and is in development with Jeremy Renner on King Of Heists based on the bestseller by J. North Conway.
EXCLUSIVE: Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Glee star Jane Lynch has boarded Black Bear Pictures’ feature film A.C.O.D. She joins Richard Jenkins and Adam Scott in the Stuart Zicherman-directed comedy which Zicherman wrote with Ben Karlin. Karlin is the co-creator of The Colbert Report and long time exec producer of The Daily Show who most recently got a Golden Globes nomination for producing 50/50. Teddy Schwarzman is producing and fully financing the project through his Black Bear Pictures’ shingle. Karlin and Tim Perell will also produce. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Richard Jenkins has joined A.C.O.D. (Adult Children Of Divorce), the Stuart Zicherman-directed film for Black Bear Pictures. Ben Karlin (50/50) wrote the script with Zicherman and Teddy Schwarzman, Karlin and Tim Perell are producing. The film centers on a man (Adam Scott) caught in the crosshairs of his parents’ bitter divorce for the past 20 years. It all rears up when his brother gets engaged and the parental feud blooms anew, with the details revealed in a definitive book on children of divorce. Jenkins will play dad, whose uncompromising lifestyle and vehement distaste for his ex-wife threatens to destroy the wedding. Jenkins and Scott starred together in Step Brothers. The film shoots in March. Gersh and Bill Treusch Management rep Jenkins.