Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. distribution rights to The Peanut Butter Falcon, the road trip comedy that stars Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson and Zack Gottsagen and won the SXSW audience award this year after its world premiere there. The pic will now hit theaters August 9.
The film was written and directed by Michael Schwartz and Tyler Nilson specifically for Gottsagen, who has Down syndrome, after they met him at a camp for disabled actors. It centers on Zak (Gottsagen), who runs away from a residential nursing home to follow his dream of attending the professional wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). A strange turn of events pairs him on the road with Tyler (LaBeouf), a small-time outlaw on the run, who becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (Johnson), a kind nursing home employee charged with Zak’s return, to join them on their journey.
Bruce Dern, John Hawkes, Jon Bernthal and Yelawolf also star.
Tim Zajaros and Christopher Lemole of Armory Films financed and produced alongside Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa of Bona Fide Productions, along with Lije Sarki and David Thies. Manu Gargi, Armory Films’ Aaron Scotti, Michelle Sie Whitten (co-founder and executive director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation in Denver), Timothy P. Shriver (chairman of the Special Olympics) and Anthony K. Shriver (Best Buddies International Founder) serve as executive producers. Endeavor Content is handling international sales.
The deal was negotiated by Howard Cohen and Angel An of Roadside Attractions with Endeavor Content and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.