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“Wrestler” Writer Signs Deal for Directing Debut, “Big Fan”

"Wrestler" Writer Signs Deal for Directing Debut, "Big Fan"

First Independent Pictures has acquired the U.S. rights to 2009 Sundance entry “Big Fan,” the directing debut of “The Wrestler” screenwriter Robert Siegel. First Independent will release the film in “late summer to early fall.”

The film stars Patton Oswalt in his first dramatic-lead performance, playing Paul Aufiero, an obsessive New York Giants fan whose chance encounter with his hero unexpectedly ends in violence. “Fan” also stars Kevin Corrigan and Michael Rapaport, and was lensed by “Goodbye Solo” cinematographer Michael Simmonds.

Eric Kohn reviewed the film for indieWIRE during Sundance, calling it “an engaging portrait of obsession.”

“This was a surprise,” said First Independent Pictures president Gary Rubin, in a statement. “We loved the film at Sundance but it didn’t seem at the time that a deal would happen. By chance, we stumbled onto the opportunity late in the game, and Rob and I just saw eye-to-eye.”

“I’m so psyched–and relieved–to have ‘Big Fan’ in First Independent’s hands,” Siegel said in a statement. “Gary just gets it. He believes in this movie. And he knows exactly what to do with it to bring it audiences.”

The deal was negotiated on Siegel’s behalf by sales agent Andrew Hurwitz, with Rubin and attorney Shelley Surpin handling negotiations for First Independent.

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