Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Kristen Wiig-Matt Dillon comedy “Imogene” at the Toronto International Film Festival. The project marks the first production of Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler’s new Maven Pictures banner.
The deal, which landed in the $2-million range, closed late Monday night after a number of distributors fought to take it home.
Directed by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (“American Splendor”) from a screenplay by Michelle Morgan, “Imogene” features Wiig as a stalled New York playwright who fakes a suicide to win back her ex-boyfriend only to then be placed in the care of her estranged gambling-addict mother on the Jersey shore. Annette Bening, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Darren Criss co-star.
Alix Madigan and Mark Amin also produced with Rattray and Styler. Wiig, Morgan, Steve Golin and Miranda Bailey are executive producers.
“We are truly looking forward to sharing this gem with audiences,” said Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen. “These filmmakers have such a distinctive voice, and their film is chock full of sharp observational humor. We are also so excited to be in business with Celine and Trudie, who have such a wonderful track record with these timely films with wide adult appeal.”
Lionsgate execs Jason Constantine, Wendy Jaffe and Eda Kowan negotiated the deal with the UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.
Roadside and Lionsgate also have partnered recently on Sundance pick-ups “Margin Call” and “Arbitrage,” which will hit theaters and VOD day-and-date Friday, September 14. A similar release strategy could be employed for “Imogene,” though the distributors have not yet made known their plans.
Maven next has an adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel “Filth,” starring James McAvoy, Jamie Bell and Jim Broadbent, in the works.