Tribeca Film announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to “Glee” star Chris Colfer’s film debut, the high school comedy Struck By Lightning. In addition to starring in the movie, Colfer also wrote the screenplay for the film, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and was met with a standing ovation. Directed with awareness and exuberance by Brian Dannelly (Saved!), the highly anticipated film also stars Allison Janney, Polly Bergen, Rebel Wilson, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Hyland and Angela Kinsey.
Tribeca Film plans a late 2012 theatrical release day and date with on-demand platforms where it will be available in 40+ million homes through a variety of video-on-demand offerings, in addition to iTunes, Amazon Watch Instantly, VUDU, Xbox and Samsung Media Hub.
High school senior Carson Phillips (Chris Colfer) was destined for bigger things than his close-minded small town could ever offer. He was on a path to greatness, but destiny had a different plan when he was suddenly killed by a bolt of lightning in his school parking lot.
Demonstrating that life is what happens while you’re busy planning your future, Carson recounts the last few weeks of his life via witty, insightful flashbacks, including a blackmail scheme targeting the popular kids in school that he concocts with his best friend (Rebel Wilson, Bridesmaids), and a home life that includes a mother (Allison Janney, Juno, “The West Wing”) who’s more interested in the bottle than her son’s future and an estranged father (Dermot Mulroney, My Best Friend’s Wedding) who suddenly appears with a pregnant fiancée (Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”).
“Showcasing his remarkable talents not only as an actor but as a writer and storyteller, Chris Colfer infuses this reinvention of the high school comic-drama with such spirit and joy that he almost makes us fondly nostalgic,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises. “Rousing, fresh, superbly acted by a strong ensemble, and wonderfully directed by Brian Dannelly, we are delighted to be partnering with Chris and his fellow filmmakers to share this new take on a classic genre for a new generation.”
Colfer added, “I’m so thrilled to be partnering with a company as passionate about this film as we are.”
“I was hoping Struck by Lightning would end up somewhere like Tribeca Film, because I watch films all the time on demand,” said Brian Dannelly. “It’s exciting that an independent film like ours can now be seen by so many people—instantly—at the same time the film is premiering in theaters.”
Struck By Lightning is a co-production between Permut Presentations and Camellia Entertainment in association with Inphenate and Evil Media Empire. It is produced by David Permut, Roberto Aguire and Mia Chang. Along with Colfer, the executive producers include Jason Michael Berman, Glenn Rigberg and Lawrence Kopeikin. Co-producers on the project are Monica Aguirre Diez Barroso, Steve Longi, and Mark Moran.
The deal was negotiated for Tribeca Film by Nick Savva, Director of Acquisitions, and on behalf of the filmmakers by Traction Media and ICM Partners.