EXCLUSIVE: After directing Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, the indie documentary about the talk-show host’s musical road trip while under late-night TV ban after exiting NBC’s Tonight Show, Rodman Flender has found another project. He’s teaming with Amy Lippman to adapt How I Became A Famous Novelist, Steve Hely’s comic novel about a down-on-his-luck guy who resolves to write a bestselling novel solely to upstage his ex-girlfriend at her wedding. Even though he has loaded in every cliche and a well-worn plot line, the novelist watches his book become a raging bestseller. It’s such a phenomenon that it inflames the literary community, alienates his ex and causes him to rethink what makes good writing worthwhile. Flender is married to Lippman, whose long list of TV credits includes Party of Five, the HBO series In Treatment and most recently Lone Star. Hely’s novel won the 2010 Thurber Award, and he has also worked as a TV writer on 30 Rock, American Dad and The Late Show With David Letterman. He’s currently a producer on The Office. Flender, Lippman and Hely are all repped by WME.
A new trailer is up for Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, the documentary that chronicled Conan’s exile from NBC’s Tonight Show. He hit the road with a 32-city music and comedy show to work out the angst of losing his dream job in unceremonious fashion. While most people who pocket upwards of $30 million to leave a job they held less than eight months would consider it a dream, for O’Brien is was a nightmare. The Rodman Flender-directed film, well received during its SXSW debut, will be released by Abramorama on June 24. After all the drama that went into Conan’s exit, is Conan better off after refusing NBC’s request that he move his show back to midnight to make room for Jay Leno, and choosing TBS over Fox? Nobody much talks about him since he stepped into the cable universe at TBS.
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, the Rodman Flender-directed documentary about the chat host’s 32 city music and comedy tour undertaken after he took a $30 million payout to leave The Tonight Show, has wrapped a distribution deal in a multi-platform acquisition and distribution deal. AT&T is in as a P&A and distribution and marketing partner, and it will sneak the film to AT&T U-verse TV subscribers on the eve of the film’s theatrical release. Abramorama, the consulting company headed by indie distribution vet Richard Abramowitz, will steer theatrical distribution. Magnolia Home Entertainment acquired the remaining VOD and home entertainment rights in a deal brokered by WME Global, right after the film made its debut at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.
It’s the second SXSW deal of the day for WME, after brokering one with The Weinstein Company for the documentary Undefeated. O’Brien started the wheels moving on a documentary about his days in talk show absentia right after he was removed from Tonight Show duty a year ago. Unable to go on TV, he grew a beard and toured the country with the Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour, a musical and comedy act that gave O’Brien the chance to test his chops as a musical artist, and tell a lot of jokes at the expense of NBC. I saw a performance at Radio City and while I wouldn’t suggest O’Brien give up his day job to sing …