Sundance: “My Idiot Brother” sold to The Weinstein Company The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that it has acquired domestic rights to Jesse Peretz’s new film MY IDIOT BROTHER, which had its world premiere Saturday night at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The company also acquired distribution rights for the U.K., Germany, France and Japan. TWC will partner on the acquisition with Ron Burkle, who previously backed TWC founders Harvey and Bob Weinsteins’ bid to acquire Miramax Films and its library. Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Hugh Dancy, Rashida Jones, Kathryn Hahn, Shirley Knight, TJ Miller, Janet Montgomery and Adam Scott star in the film, a comedy about family and the sacrifices it takes to deal with them.

Written by Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall and based on a story by Evgenia Peretz and Jesse Peretz, MY IDIOT BROTHER is directed by Jesse Peretz, and produced by Anthony Bregman for Likely Story and Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub for Big Beach. Big Beach financed the production. Jesse Peretz, Caroline Jaczko, Stefanie Azpiazu, John Hodges and Aleen Keshishian are Executive Producers.

Commented TWC co-founder Harvey Weinstein, “MY IDIOT BROTHER” knocked me out. It’s fresh, funny and true, with sharp direction, terrific writing and a dream of an ensemble cast, led by one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with, Paul Rudd. Bringing this film home to The Weinstein Company is a great way to start the New Year.”

Added TWC COO David Glasser, “We’re thrilled to have acquired MY IDIOT BROTHER. Not only is it a very clever comedy, it tells a story about the one subject that everyone, everywhere, can relate to: family. Our friend Ron Burkle was just as dazzled by the movie as we were, and partnering on this acquisition was an ideal opportunity to continue our business relationship.”

Producers Turtletaub, Saraf and Bregman said, “Making this film has been a truly family effort. Jesse dreamt it up with his sister, Evgenia, and brother-in-law, David, and we’re thrilled to have the Weinstein brothers as partners on the release.”

The deal was negotiated for TWC by Glasser, Peter Lawson, TWC Head of Acquisitions, and Laine Kline, TWC Executive Vice President Legal Affairs; with Rena Ronson and Jim Meenaghan, head of film business affairs, from UTA and Jackie Eckhouse of Sloss Eckhouse Lawco representing Big Beach. Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park International is handling international sales.

Ned Rochlin (Rudd) looks for the good in every situation and in everyone, which often puts him at odds with the world around him – especially his family. Upon being released from jail for a stupid mistake, Ned is kicked off of the organic farm he lives and works on by his ex-girlfriend Janet (Hahn) who also insists on keeping his beloved dog, Willie Nelson. Having nowhere else to go, he turns to his family, three ambitious sisters (Banks, Deschanel, Mortimer) and an overbearing mother (Knight). Ned crashes at each of their homes, in succession, and brings honesty, happiness and a sunny disposition into their lives. In other words, he wreaks havoc.

Founded in 2004 by Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf, Big Beach is a New York-based company that produces and finances independent films, documentaries and works for stage. Big Beach’s recent films include JACK GOES BOATING, the directorial debut of Philip Seymour Hoffman starring Hoffman and Amy Ryan; LUCKY, a documentary about lottery winners directed by Jeff Blitz (Spellbound). Other recent films include Sam Mendes’ AWAY WE GO, starring Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski; SUNSHINE CLEANING, directed by Christine Jeffs and starring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt; and John Crowley’s IS ANYBODY THERE?, starring Michael Caine. Big Beach’s LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE was a critical and box office sensation following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it sold to Fox Searchlight. The dramatic comedy was written by Michael Ardnt and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, and won two (Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor).

Likely Story is a New York-based production company founded by Anthony Bregman in October 2006. In 2010, the company premiered two films, Nicole Holofcener’s PLEASE GIVE and Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman’s THE EXTRA MAN, and wrapped production on three films: THE ORANGES, directed by Julian Farino; MY IDIOT BROTHER, directed by Jesse Peretz; and DARLING COMPANION, directed by Laurence Kasdan. Recent Likely Story productions include Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut, SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (Sony Pictures Classics), Alex Rivera’s SLEEP DEALER (Maya Releasing), and David and Alex Pastor’s CARRIERS (Paramount Vantage). Bregman’s previous producing credits include FRIENDS WITH MONEY, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, LOVELY & AMAZING, THUMBSUCKER, THE TAO OF STEVE, THE SAVAGES, TRICK, THE ICE STORM, THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN, and HUMAN NATURE. The company recently signed a first look deal with graphic novel and comic book publisher Top Shelf Productions, and has output deals with Village Roadshow and Svensk.

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Since its launch, TWC and Dimension Films have also released such films as GRINDHOUSE, LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, 1408, I’M NOT THERE, THE MIST, THE GREAT DEBATERS, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, THE READER, THE ROAD, CLERKS II, FACTORY GIRL, HALLOWEEN, A SINGLE MAN, THE PAT TILLMAN STORY, PIRANHA 3D and such recent Oscar nominees as NINE and INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

Currently in release is Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. Upcoming films include Derek Cianfrance’s BLUE VALENTINE, starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, and John Wells’ feature directorial debut COMPANY MEN, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Rosemary DeWitt, Maria Bello and Chris Cooper. Recently wrapping is MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper, Emma Watson and Julia Ormond, Robert Rodriguez’s SPY KIDS 4 with Jessica Alba, and the new installment of the SCREAM franchise, SCREAM 4.

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