EXCLUSIVE: Screen Media has acquired worldwide rights to Family Squares—the comedy formerly titled Shoot the Rooster—from Unbound Media. The indie distributor is planning to unveil the film—starring Ann Dowd (Mass), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Judy Greer (Archer), Billy Magnussen (No Time to Die), Margo Martindale (August: Osage County), Sam Richardson (Veep), Timothy Simons (Veep), June Squibb (Nebraska), Casey Wilson (Saturday Night Live), Scott MacArthur (Halloween Kills), Zoë Chao (Love Life), Jessica Miesel (The Resident), Maclaren Laing (Eastbound & Down) and Henry Winkler (Barry)—in a day-and-date domestic release early next year.
The film from writer-director Stephanie Laing (Physical, Made for Love) is a love letter to her family, the South and small-town America based on the passing of her mother, which was for the most part shot remotely during quarantine, with Laing directing actors via video conference. It centers on the members of the divided Worth family, who are forced to come together when Grandma Mabel dies, soon discovering that like everyone else, she had been keeping some secrets from her loved ones.
Laing penned the script for Family Squares with Brad Morris (Bajillion Dollar Propertie$), and produced through her Cake or Death Pictures with Alex Saks (Red Rocket) and Peter Odiorne (The Middle of X). Patrick Somerville (Station 11) exec produced alongside Jonathon Tropper (Sea).
“Stephanie’s unique vision for Family Squares was a perfect fit for Unbounded Media’s ability to produce content within the shifting landscape of independent film production,” said Odiorne. “She called me and my partner Larry Swets (executive producer) and 15 minutes later we green-lit the film, then production began 4 weeks later. Unbounded thinking is how good stories get from talented filmmakers to the world.”
“Family Squares delighted us with its stellar ensemble cast, heartfelt humor, and clever virtual storytelling techniques,” added Screen Media in a statement. “We were blown away by the performances Stephanie elicited from the stellar ensemble cast, all while directing remotely. The result is the kind of uplifting comedy that the entire family can enjoy.”
Screen Media, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, also recently acquired Phillip Noyce’s hitman thriller Fast Charlie, starring Pierce Brosnan, along with Benjamin Louis’ horror film, Stoker Hills. It claimed rights to crime thriller La Soga Salvation following its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, picking up Casey Tebo’s Black Friday, starring Devon Sawa and Bruce Campbell, upon its Fantastic Fest debut. Recent releases from the company include Brent Wilson’s documentary Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road; James Nunn’s One Shot, starring Scott Adkins and Ryan Phillippe; Lina Roessler’s Best Sellers, starring Aubrey Plaza and Michael Caine, and Chase Palmer’s Naked Singularity, starring John Boyega and Olivia Cooke.
Katharyn Howe, VP of Global Acquisitions and Co-Productions, negotiated the acquisition deal for Family Squares with WME Independent on behalf of the filmmakers.
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