The company has picked U.S. rights to Tim Garrick’s comedy about a guy who’s so smitten that he makes a bet with a mobster’s son. Vertical Entertainment plans an August theatrical release for Behaving Badly, which stars Nat Wolff as the guy trying to land the woman of his dreams (Selena Gomez). Along the way he deals with his best friend’s randy mom (Elisabeth Shue), his drug-abusing boss (Dylan McDermott), a perverted principal (Patrick Warburton), a priest with a ecret (Jason Lee), a sultry defense attorney (Heather Graham), and a patron saint who dispenses cryptic advice (Mary-Louise Parker). Cary Elwes and Gary Busey also co-star. Garrick wrote the screenplay with Scott Russell based on Ric Browde’s book While I’m Dead … Feed The Dog. Andrew Lazar and Miri Yoon produced the pic, which was executive produced by Barry Quart and Kevin Tang. Vertical’s recent films include Anna (Mindscape), Hairbrained and Boys of Abu Ghraib.
The company launched last year by Rich Goldberg and Mitch Budin has made a pre-emptive strike ahead of Berlin, grabbing all North American rights to the psychological thriller. Vertical Entertainment picked up the Ombra Films production Mindscape from StudioCanal on the eve of EFM. Produced by Jaume Collet-Sera, the pic stars Sherlock Holmes heavy Mark Strong as a memory detective who enters people’s minds to help them recall details in order to solve crimes or investigate trauma. But when he suffers a stroke during a session gone wrong, he is left a broken shell of his former self. Brian Cox and Taissa Farmiga co-star in Mindscape, which is director Jorge Dorago’s feature debut. The filmmaker, who has helmed many award-winning shorts including La Guerra and has AD credits including Bad Education and Talk To Her, signed with WME after Cannes last year.
Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz executive produced the military thriller Boys Of Abu Ghraib, which Vertical Entertainment now plans to release in March 2014 after landing North American rights at AFM. Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment is handling international distribution and shopping the title this week in Santa Monica. Boys Of Abu Ghraib was written by Luke Moran, who made his directorial debut, produced and starred in the pic based on true events about a forbidden friendship between a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi detainee during the infamous torture scandal at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. Sean Astin, Sara Paxton and John Heard co-star. The deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey on behalf of Vertical and Resolution on behalf of the filmmakers. Sonia Mehandjiyska negotiated the deal on behalf of Electric, which in Toronto tapped her to run the company’s new international sales division.
UPDATED: AFM Briefs: Vertical Entertainment Gets U.S. On ‘Dark Hearts’ & ‘Hairbrained’; The Exchange Shopping Gregg Allman Biopic
UPDATED, 5:25 PM: Vertical Entertainment has grabbed U.S. rights ahead of AFM to Dark Hearts, a pulp thriller set in LA’s underground art scene. Lucas Till, Kyle Schmid, Goran Visnjic and Rachel Blanchard star for Rudolf Buitendach, who makes his directorial debut on the film. It was written by Christian Piers Betley and produced by Jack Bowyer, Courtney Lauren Penn, Brandon Burrows, Kees van Oostrum and Alexis Varouxakis. Vertical also has picked up all U.S. rights to Hairbrained, a college comedy starring Brendan Fraser and Alex Wolff. Billy Kent directed the film from a script he wrote with Sarah Bird and Adam Wierzbianski. Kent, Bird and Avram Ludwig; Stacy Blain, Stephanie Ingrassia, Tim Ingrassia and Jason Mraz are the exec producers. Vertical will open the film in February. Premiere Entertainment is handling international sales.
The Exchange is bringing Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story to Santa Monica next week. Randall Miller and Jody Savin wrote the screenplay for the biopic about the Southern rock icon, based on his best-selling 2013 autobiography My Cross To Bear. Miller is directing the film, and Savin is producing. Allman and his manager Michael Lehman are serving as exec producers. Open Road will release Midnight Rider in the U.S.
EXCLUSIVE: Russia’s Wizart Animation produced this 3D animated adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale about a young girl who sets out to save her brother from an evil queen. Maxim Sveshnikov and Vlad Barbe directed the pic from a script by Barbe and Vadim Sveshnikov. Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) came aboard as producer and distributed the family pic in Russia through his Bazelevs company. Vertical Entertainment will release The Snow Queen stateside on October 11:
EXCLUSIVE: Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler are buddies on a road trip gone horribly wrong in Kevin and Michael Goetz’s Scenic Route, scripted by Kyle Killen (The Beaver). Vertical Entertainment picked up the dark drama in Cannes after its SXSW debut and releases it in theaters August 23. Check out the trailer:
Newbie distributor Vertical Entertainment has snapped up US rights to the Russian 3D animated pic produced by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. The Snow Queen tells the tale of a little girl who embarks on a journey to save her brother from the evil witch who’s covered the world in ice. Maxim Sveshnikov and Vlad Barbe directed the pic from a script by Barbe and Vadim Sveshnikov. Yuri Moskvin, Vladimir Nikolaev, Olga Sinelshchikova, Sergey Rapoport, Alexander Ligay and Bekmambetov are producers. Already released in Ukraine, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, Turkey, UAE, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, The Snow Queen has a sequel in the works for Winter 2014. Peter Jarowey negotiated the deal with WME’s Deb McIntosh. Wizart Distribution’s is handling international sales at Cannes, where last week Vertical acquired rights to Josh Duhamel’s SXSW film Scenic Route.
EXCLUSIVE: It didn’t take long for Vertical Entertainment to score at Cannes. The newbie indie distributor snapped up U.S. rights to Scenic Route, starring Josh Duhamel (Safe Haven, Transformers) and Dan Fogler (Balls Of Fury, Kung Fu Panda) as road-tripping buddies whose friendship is tested when they’re stranded in the desert. Co-helmers Kevin and Michael Goetz directed from a screenplay by Kyle Killen (The Beaver). The pic first premiered at SXSW. Vertical is planning an August theatrical bow, supplemented by digital/VOD and home video releases. The pick-up aligns with Vertical’s strategy to acquire and release a yearly slate of two dozen $5M-10M genre and family films anchored by name stars.
EXCLUSIVE: The indie distribution game has a new player in Vertical Entertainment, a new full service content marketing and distribution company looking to shop this month at Cannes. Founders Rich Goldberg and Mitch Budin are industry vets with a combined 40 years at WB, DreamWorks, Vivendi, and Lightning Entertainment between them and have their first two initial pick-ups slated for summer theatrical releases. Rushlights with Josh Henderson, Beau Bridges and Aidan Quinn debuts on VOD and in limited release June 21. Hot Flashes stars Brooke Shields, Wanda Sykes, Virginia Madsen, Daryl Hannah, and Camryn Manheim and hits VOD June 14 followed by a July 12 limited release. Vertical’s plan is to release two features each month for theatrical, home video, and digital release with a focus on $5M-10M budgeted family fare and genre films with A-list casts. “There’s room in this space for a very nimble independent that’s going to focus on content that studios ignore and try to realize its potential to all the new platforms”, said Goldberg. He and acquisition exec Peter Jarowey will be in Cannes looking to fill out their slate.
Rushlights, directed by Antoni Stutz, follows Billy (Josh Henderson) and Sarah (Haley Webb), delinquent teenage lovers from the suburbs of LA, who travel to small town Tremo, TX to falsely claim a dead friend’s inheritance. Stutz and Ashley Scott Meyers penned the script. Rushlights is produced by Jeffrey Coulter, Gabriella Stollenwerck and Stutz. …