RLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, has obtained the North American distribution rights to The Opening Act, an indie comedy produced by Vince Vaughn and starring Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley), Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts), Cedric the Entertainer (The Neighborhood) and Ken Jeong (The Hangover).
Written and directed by stand-up comedian Steve Byrne, the film is slated for release October 16 in theaters and on demand and digital HD.
The plot follows Will Chu (Yang), who is stuck in a thankless job while trying to pursue his true passion in life: becoming a stand-up comedian. When he gets the opportunity he’s been waiting for, the emcee slot on the road opening for his hero Billy G., the realities of life on the stage come crashing in. Between relentless hecklers, drunk comedy groupies and hard-to-impress morning radio DJs, things get off to a rough start. Even if he can learn from his idols and overcome the challenges, he’ll have to prove he has what it takes to make his dream a reality.
Alex Moffat (Saturday Night Live), Neal Brennan (Get Him to the Greek), Debby Ryan (Insatiable), Bill Burr (The King of Staten Island) and Russell Peters (Supercon) also star. Additional appearances include comedians Whitney Cummings, Tom Segura, Iliza Shlesinger, Roy Wood Jr., Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Kathleen Madigan, Felipe Esparza, Moshe Kasher, Brooks Wheelan and Alonzo Bodden.
Vaughn produced with Peter Billingsley under their Wild West Picture Show banner, along with Sefton Fincham. Executive producers are Dwight Manley, Michael Shader, Dean Buchanan and Vahid Shababi.
The rights deal was brokered by Mark Ward and Jess De Leo from RLJE Films with Endeavor Content, which co-financed and repped the film, on behalf of the filmmakers.