By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES ACQUIRES “THE WAY, WAY BACK”


For Immediate Release

Specialty Arm Acquires North American Rights

and Select Major International Territories

Film to be Scheduled for Summer 2013

PARK CITY, UT January 22, 2013 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired rights to North America as well as most major territories to the heartfelt comedy THE WAY, WAY BACK.  Directed and written by Academy Award® winners Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, THE WAY, WAY BACK stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, AnnaSophia Robb, Amanda Peet and Liam James.

 

The film was produced by Kevin J. Walsh of The Walsh Company and Tom Rice of Sycamore Pictures, and executive produced by Sycamore’s Ben Nearn and George Parra, OddLot Entertainment’s Gigi Pritzker, Faxon, and Rash. OddLot Entertainment and Sycamore Pictures co-financed the project.

 

The film is scheduled to be released in Summer, 2013.

 

“Nat and Jim have crafted a uproarious coming of age story and it is great to be reunited with them,” said Gilula and Utley.  “The amazingly pitch perfect cast never misses a beat and was well deserving of the standing ovation the film received yesterday.”

 

“This is a very personal film and it’s been a long journey. We are so overwhelmed by the response it received at Sundance and are beyond delighted that it’s found a home with our family at Fox Searchlight,” said Faxon and Rash

 

“We are all elated that a vibrant company like Fox Searchlight shares our enthusiasm for the film and faith in Jim and Nat as writers, directors and storytellers,” said Rice and Walsh.

 

THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin).

 

Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world – all during a summer he will never forget.

 

The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien and Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache.  Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and WME Global negotiated the deal with Craig Emanuel on behalf of the financiers.

 

Sierra / Affinity is handling international sales for the project for territories outside those acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures.

 

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures.  It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox.  Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed

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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch