Roadside Attractions and Gravitas Ventures are teaming on the U.S. distribution The Friend, the Gabriela Cowperthwaite-directed drama starring Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck that world premiered at Toronto. The pic is based on Matthew Teague’s autobiographical essay published in Esquire. The companies are now eyeing a fall 2020 theatrical release.
It marks the second tie-up of Roadside and Gravitas Ventures; the two are teaming on The Secret: Dare to Dream, starring Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas, which bows in April. Roadside of course most recently distributed with LD Entertainment the Judy Garland biopic Judy, for which Renee Zellweger is up for an Oscar.
The Friend, adapted by Brad Ingelsby, tells the true story of Nicole (Johnson) and Matthew Teague (Affleck), whose friend Dane (Segel) puts his own life on hold and moves into the Teague family home after Nicole is diagnosed with cancer. Dade’s movie has a greater and more profound impact than anyone could have imagined. Gwendoline Christie, Cherry Jones, Isabella Kai, Violet McGraw and country singer Jake Owen co-star.
The film from Black Bear Pictures and Scott Free Productions is produced by Kevin Walsh, Michael Pruss, Ryan Stowell and Teddy Schwarzman. Ridley Scott, Ben Stillman, Michael Heimler, Ted Deiker, Ingelsby and Teague are executive producers.
“Everyone knows the value of a great friend, yet it’s rare to see friendship dramatized in film,” said
Roadside’s Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff. “To see these three great actors shine the light on what friendship means when the going gets tough adds up to something quite profound.”
Added Gravitas Ventures’ VP Acquisitions Tony Piantedosi: “Gabriela and her outstanding cast have crafted a profoundly moving portrait of the emotional bonds that sustain us. We are thrilled to be partnered with Roadside Attractions in presenting The Friend to U.S. audiences this fall.”
Nolan Gallagher and Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal with Endeavor Content. STXinternational is handling international sales and releasing in the UK.