The Orchard has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the documentary Monkey Business: The Adventures Of Curious George’s Creators, with a planned release sometime next year. The film is directed by Ema Ryan Yamazaki with Sam Waterston narrating. Monkey Business chronicles the largely unknown story of George’s creators, Hans and Margret Rey. From fleeing Nazi-occupied France on self-made bicycles to encounters with exotic animals in Brazil, the Reys lived lives of adventure that are reflected in the pages of the popular children’s book series, which has been around for 75 years. The docu honors the legacy of the Reys by interweaving archival footage and interviews with them, their friends and experts, along with animated sequences in a style inspired by the world of Curious George. A live-action version is in the works at Universal with Andrew Adamson attached to direct and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Erica Huggins producing alongside David Kirschner and Jon Shapiro. The deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo, VP Acquisitions for The Orchard.
On The Rocks, the dark comedy about a broken, spiraling relationship, has been picked up by FilmBuff. From writer-director duo Alex Kavutskiy and Ariel Gardner, the pic will open at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles in February, followed by a VOD release later that month. Jake White produced with Akiva Nemetsky, Keaton Heinrichs, Jeffrey Coulter, and Mete Sozer. Executive producers are BoulderLight’s J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules. Margules negotiated the deal with FilmBuff’s Jake Hanly. The filmmakers are repped by Principato-Young.