Bleecker Street has acquired U.S. distribution rights to The Assistant, director Kitty Green’s drama that has taken as its inspiration the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The pic, which stars Ozark‘s Julia Garner and had its world premiere at Telluride, will now hit theaters on January 31, 2020.
The plot follows one day in the life of Jane (Garner), a recent college graduate and aspiring film producer, who has recently landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul. As she follows her daily routine, she, and we, grow increasingly aware of the abuse that insidiously colors every aspect of her work day, an accumulation of degradations against which Jane decides to take a stand, only to discover the true depth of the system into which she has entered. Matthew Macfadyen and Kristine Froseth co-star.
Green, Scott Macaulay, James Schamus and P. Jennifer Dana and Ross Jacobson of 3311 Productions are producers. Executive producers are John Howard, Philipp Engelhorn and Leah Giblin of Cinereach, Abigail E. Disney, The Level Forward Team, Mark Roberts, Sean King O’Grady and Avy Eschesnasy.
The producers and financiers in August teamed with the New York Women’s Foundation in a deal that will see 10% of the pic’s profits set aside to support the foundation’s grantmaking to women-led, organizations that promote the economic security, safety, and health of women and families in New York, where the film was made.
“We’re so proud of this movie, both on its own terms as a cinematic experience and for how it contributes to the ongoing conversation about gender, power, and women’s roles in the workplace,” Dana said in a release announcing the deal Friday. “It is wonderful to have a partner in Bleecker Street who will support both Kitty as a filmmaker and help drive the necessary broader conversation surrounding the movie.”
Green, who wrote and directed, told Deadline’s Pete Hammond before the film’s Telluride premiere that she spent about six months speaking to people across the movie industry — including those who worked at The Weinstein Company and before that at Miramax — and knew the stories she was hearing were similar to those she knew from other industries.
She did say she didn’t want to pin the storyline on just one person or one company, however, even though the parallels are clear. The mogul in the movie is unseen. “I feel like it would be reductive to say it’s about The Weinstein Company or any specific one because it is a problem everywhere in the industry and it’s global,” she said.
Bleecker Street’s deal for The Assistant was negotiated by Kent Sanderson and the producers. The film now joins the distributor’s 2020 slate that includes Ordinary Love with Liam Neeson and Leslie Manville (February 14), Sally Potter’s new untitled film with Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning (March 13), Military Wives (March 27) and Dream Horse (May 1).