EXCLUSIVE: FilmRise has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Marjorie Prime, the Michael Almereyda sci-fi pic starring Lois Smith and Jon Hamm. It bowed this year at Sundance, where it won the festival’s Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize. FilmRise plans a mid-2017 theatrical release and an awards-season push for its 86-year-old star Smith, whose credits go as far back as Elia Kazan’s 1955 classic East Of Eden.
Tim Robbins and Geena Davis co-star in the pic based on Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer-nominated play, which Almeryeda adapted and Passage Pictures’ Uri Singer produced. FilmRise will push all the main actors with a targeted award-season campaign; Smith has never been Oscar-nominated over her seven-decade career that includes such film credits as Five Easy Pieces, Fatal Attraction and Twister.
Set in the near future, Marjorie Prime centers on Smith’s Marjorie, who spends time with the young likeness of her deceased husband Walter (Hamm). This revitalized Walter is a sophisticated holographic projection that provides companionship while stimulating Marjorie’s memory—allowing her to explore their shared past as she lives with dementia. Marjorie’s daughter Tess (Davis) and her husband Jon (Robbins) develop their own complex feelings about the new Walter, uneasily coming to terms with the nature of identity, memory, and our ever-shifting relationship to technology.
Marjorie Prime will be available on Amazon Prime Video this year as part of Amazon Video Direct’s Film Festival Stars program.
Sundance’s Alfred P. Sloan award goes to a feature film that focuses on science or technology as a theme.
“I’m pleased that the wave of good feeling generated by our Sundance screenings has been caught by FilmRise, and I look forward to working with them on Marjorie’s American release.” Added Singer: “I’m very enthusiastic to be working with FilmRise on the American release of Marjorie Prime. After a successful premiere at Sundance, I’m excited that the film is in good hands and will reach a wide audience.”
The deal for the film was negotiated between FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher and VP Acquisitions Max Einhorn with Cinetic Media’s Linzee Troubh.
“We are thrilled to announce our acquisition of this superb Sundance award-winner,” said Fisher. “Michael Almereyda has created a subtle and masterly adaptation, and the performances by Jon Hamm, Lois Smith, Geena Davis, and Tim Robbins are extraordinary.”