EXCLUSIVE: Glen Basner’s FilmNation will fully finance and handle international sales on The Big Sick, with Judd Apatow producing with Barry Mendel through Apatow Productions (Trainwreck, This Is 40, Bridesmaids). Stand-up comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) will star in the film. Based on true events in their lives, Nanjiani wrote the script with his wife, writer/producer Emily V. Gordon. Michael Showalter, who helmed this years’s SXSW audience award winner Hello My Name Is Doris, starring Sally Field, will direct.
Apatow is the closest thing to a sure thing in the comedy world these days with an unrivaled hit rate in both film and TV. The deal is further proof of FilmNation’s strategy to fully finance more of its own productions in-house. The ambitious and growing company fully financed Michael Keaton-starrer The Founder, Denis Villeneuve’s Story Of Your Life and Ritesh Bhatra’s The Sense Of An Ending. All of those three projects are prestige, upmarket productions.
In addition to his role as Dinesh on HBO’s award-winning comedy Silicon Valley, Nanjiani is also a writer, executive producer and co-host of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. He has played roles in the likes of The Five-Year Engagement (also produced by Apatow), Sex Tape and Hot Tub Time Machine 2. He will next be seen in the upcoming films Hello, My Name Is Doris, Central Intelligence and Fist Fight. He also has a recurring role on IFC’s Portlandia, and will have a guest role on the upcoming return of The X-Files on Fox.
Gordon is the author of the recently released book Super You: Release Your Inner Superhero, writer on NBC’s The Carmichael Show and exec producer of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail.
“The Big Sick is supremely funny and human and relatable on so many levels, said FilmNation chief exec Glen Basner. “With a comedic dream team led by Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Michael Showalter and Kumail Nanjiani, audiences worldwide are going to laugh their asses off. I know I did.”
“I am so thrilled and honored to be working with Judd Apatow, FilmNation, Kumail and Emily on this incredible story about true love and identity,” added Showalter.
FilmNation Entertainment will handle all international sales. UTA packaged the film and brokered the deal with FilmNation Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers and will handle U.S. rights.
Nanjiani and Gordon are repped by UTA, Mosaic, and attorney Isaac Dunham. Apatow is repped by UTA, Mosaic and Ziffren Brittenham. Showalter is repped by UTA, Principato Young and Stone Meyer.