Director Joe Swanberg brought his most accessible film yet to SXSW this year, with name actors Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston starring in the relationship comedy about a pair of Chicago craft brewery co-workers whose platonic friendship veers toward flirtation. Magnolia Pictures has taken notice, acquiring North American distribution rights today. Drinking Buddies has a more traditional look than Swanberg’s previous mumblecore releases, with Beasts Of The Southern Wild DP Ben Richardson doing the lensing. The pic was entirely improvised as the cast worked from Swanberg’s outline. Here’s today’s release announcing the deal, which will see the pic hit theaters sometime this year:
New York, NY (March 19, 2013) – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired North American distribution rights to writer-director Joe Swanberg’s DRINKING BUDDIES, starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston. Produced by Dark Arts’ Alicia Van Couvering and Andrea Roa; Burn Later’s Paul M. Bernon and Sam Slater; and Swanberg, the film premiered this month at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. The film was executive produced by Mike Witherill, Ashley Bernon, Jessica Klapman, David Kaplan, Anish Savjani, and Wilde. Magnolia Pictures is planning a theatrical release for later this year.
DRINKING BUDDIES follows the lives of Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) who work together at a craft brewery. They have one of those friendships that feels like it could be something more. But Kate is with Chris (Ron Livingston), and Luke is with Jill (Anna Kendrick). And Jill wants to know if Luke is ready to talk about marriage. The answer to that question becomes crystal clear when Luke and Kate unexpectedly find themselves alone for a weekend.
“Joe Swanberg has been evolving steadily as a filmmaker, and with DRINKING BUDDIES, he’s delivered his best work yet—a truly funny, smart and insightful film about real adult relationships,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson and the rest of the cast also deliver some of the best work of their careers. We’re raising an imperial pint in celebration.”
“I feel tremendously privileged to work with such a smart, energetic and exciting company,” said Swanberg. “I had an amazing time working with the Magnolia family on V/H/S and I can’t wait to be their drinking buddy again. I just know they will do great things with the film.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and Director of Acquisitions Peter van Steemberg, with CAA on behalf of the filmmakers and producers.
Swanberg’s prior films include HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS, ALEXANDER THE LAST, UNCLE KENT, SILVER BULLETS, and V/H/S.