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by Peter Knegt
March 29, 2010 6:05 AM
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Magnolia Finds An "Extra Man"

A scene from Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini's "The Extra Man." Image courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Magnolia Pictures has acquired US rights to 2010 Sundance entry "The Extra Man," a comedy starring Kevin Kline and Paul Dano and directed by "American Splendor" team Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.

Berman and Pulcini wrote the film with Jonathan Ames, novelist and creator of HBO's "Bored to Death," and based on his novel of the same name. It was produced by Anthony Bregman of Likely Story and Stephanie Davis of 3Arts, and also stars Katie Holmes and John C. Reilly.

"In a time when some believe that independent film distribution is a thing of the past, it's invigorating to work with a company with an exciting vision for the future," said Berman and Pulcini in a statement. "We have already learned so much from Magnolia, and are thrilled to be in business with them."

"'The Extra Man' is an incredibly charming and howlingly funny film from a movie-making team that I've admired since American Splendor," said Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles in a statement. "The cast is great across the board and Kevin Kline gives one of the greatest performances of his career, ranging from comic absurdity to pathos with amazing panache."

Magnolia describes the film as: "Dano stars in the film as Louis Ives, a daydreaming writer who fashions himself a modern day F. Scott Fitzgerald, who sets out for New York to make a name for himself. He rents a room from the eccentric Henry Harrison (Kline), a failed but brilliant playwright who lately finds work as an "extra man"--an escort for wealthy society widows. The two form an unexpected bond, and Henry introduces Louis to a fantastic cast of eccentric characters that could only be found in New York."

Magnolia is planning a late-July theatrical opening for the film, which will play the film festival circuit this Spring, including opening night at both the Sarasota and Boston Film Festivals. Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn negotiated the pact with Agnes Mentre and Carole Baraton of Wild Bunch, and CAA.

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