Bleecker Street has acquired North American rights to Catherine Hardwicke’s action-comedy Mafia Mamma, starring Toni Collette (The Staircase, Nightmare Alley), Monica Bellucci (The Matrix franchise, The Man Who Sold His Skin) and Rob Huebel (The Descendants, The Goldbergs), which is heading into production in Italy in May.
The Vocab Films, IDEA(L) and New Sparta production is based on an original idea from acclaimed French novelist, screenwriter and filmmaker Amanda Sthers (Promises, Madame). It centers on Kristin (Collette), who is facing a slew of challenges. Her only son is desperate to leave for college, her boss is a sexist pig, and she just caught her unsuccessful musician husband (Huebel) cheating with a groupie. That’s when she receives a life-changing phone call from Bianca (Bellucci), her estranged grandfather’s trusted consigliere, telling her he is dead and that she must attend the funeral in Italy.
Egged on by Jenny, her outspoken best friend and lawyer, Kristin is persuaded that this is exactly what she needs—a free trip to Europe full of pasta, wine, and beautiful men. The trip gets off to a perfect start, but when her grandfather’s funeral explodes into a bloody gunfight, she finally learns the truth. Kristin isn’t just there to meet the family; she is there to be the new boss of the fiercest Mafia family in Calabria. Guided by Bianca, Kristin must take the reins of the organization and find out what she is really made of.
Debbie Jhoon and Michael J. Feldman (Peacock’s A.P. Bio, Hulu’s Deadbeat) penned the script. Collette is producing under her Vocab Films banner, with Sthers for IDEA(L) and New Sparta’s Christopher Simon (The Limehouse Golem, The Killing of a Sacred Deer). Andrew Karpen and Kent Sanderson are exec producing for Bleecker Street. The film comes on the heels of Hardwicke, Collette and Simon’s collaboration on the 2015 dramedy Miss You Already, in which Collette starred opposite Drew Barrymore.
Bleecker Street has recently released such films as Fran Kranz’s Sundance drama Mass starring Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton; Maren Eggert’s German Oscar entry I’m Your Man, starring Dan Stevens; and Michel Franco’s Sundown with Tim Roth and Charlotte Gainsbourg, also recently bringing James Pondsoldt’s Summering to the Sundance Film Festival for its world premiere. Upcoming releases include Abi Damaris Corbin’s Sundance thriller 892, starring John Boyega and the late Michael K. Williams; Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert’s Infinite Storm with Naomi Watts; Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s Montana Story; Emma Holly Jones’ Mr. Malcolm’s List with Freida Pinto; and the Helen Mirren starrer Golda, from Oscar-winning director Guy Nattiv.
Bleecker Street’s Head of Acquisitions Kent Sanderson negotiated the deal to acquire Mafia Mamma alongside Avy Eschenasy, with CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers. Cornerstone handled all international sales.
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