Magnolia Pictures acquired North American rights to Magic Trip, a look back at the psychedelic 60s cross-country bus tour taken by Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters. The feature documentary was co-directed and co-written by Alex Gibney and Allison Ellwood, and produced under History Films. History Network holds broadcast rights.

Deal comes just after Magnolia acquired North American rights to TrustNordisk’s adaptation of the Jo Nesbo novel Headhunter, directed by Morten Tyldum.

Magnolia will release the film on a VOD platform before a theatrical release, which the distributor used on Gibney’s Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer. Gibney and Ellwood got access to raw footage of 16 mm stock which Kesey and the Pranksters intended to turn into a documentary but never did. They worked with the Film Foundation, History and UCLA Film Archives to restore over 100 hours of footage that went into chronicling a psychedelic 60s movement captured by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. A movie adaptation of that book has been in development with Gus Van Sant at the helm and Richard Gladstein producing.

Dakota Lewandowski
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3 years
It was amazing. I seen it here in Eugene, Or. I was among the first audience to...
Joe Brown
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4 years
People will be amazed at how good the restored 16mm footage looks.