Unveiling a 2010 theatrical slate that Focus Features CEO James Schamus called “as audacious as any in our history”, the company has announced its six confirmed releases on the back of strong sales at AFM through Focus Features International.
Kicking off the line-up in select cities on March 12 is Greenberg, Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to The Squid And The Whale that stars Ben Stiller opposite Greta Gerwig as a man who unexpectedly falls for his brother’s assistant. Baumbach came up with the story with Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is producing with Scott Rudin.Focus holds worldwide rights.
Babies will open in select cities on April 16 and simultaneously follows four babies around the world from birth to first steps. Focus holds select international rights to the feature, directed by Thomas Balmes from an original idea by Alain Chabat, who produced with Amandine Billot and Christine Rouxel through his Chez Wam production company.
Anton Corbijn’s thriller The American opens nationwide on September 1 and stars George Clooney in the title role as a jaded assassin who endangers himself when he finds romance in Italy. Rowan Joffe adapted the screenplay from Martin Booth’s novel A Very Private Gentleman. This Is That’s Anne Carey produced with Clooney and his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov, as well as Ann Wingate and Jill Green. Focus holds worldwide rights.
Kevin Macdonald’s Roman Britain epic The Eagle Of The Ninth opens nationwide in the third quarter of 2010 and is co-financed by Film4 with Focus, which holds worldwide rights excluding UK free-TV. The film is scheduled to wrap production in Scotland next week and is being produced by Duncan Kenworthy. Jeremy Brock adapted the screenplay from Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel of the same name. Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, Mark Strong and Tahar Rahim star.
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s It’s Kind Of A Funny Story will open in select cities in November and is scheduled to begin production in New York City early next month. Focus holds worldwide rights and is co-financing with Wayfare Entertainment. Kevin Misher is producing with Ben Browning. Boden and Fleck adapted the comedy-drama from Ned Vizzini’s 2006 novel of the same name. Keir Gilchrist plays a stressed 16-year-old who checks himself into a mental health clinic and ends up in the adult ward, where he learns about life and love. Zach Galifianakis and Emma Roberts also star.
Rounding out the line-up so far is Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere. The film is yet to be dated and stars Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning in the tale of a troubled actor residing at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont who receives an unexpected visit from his daughter. Coppola wrote and directed and also produced alongside Roman Coppola and G Mac Brown through American Zoetrope. Focus holds select international rights.
Focus’ 2009 releases have included Laika Entertainment’s Coraline from Henry Selick, Shane Acker’s animated fantasy 9, Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Sin Nombre, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man.
“Next year’s Focus slate follows one of the company’s best years ever – our eighth profitable year in a row since our inception, and the year in which we passed the $1bn mark in cumulative domestic box office alone,” Schamus said.
“This month’s tremendous showing at the American Film Market once again proves the resiliency and flexibility of Focus’ global approach to the business,” Focus president Andrew Karpen said. “The breadth, depth, and nuance we bring to the international release of each film on our slate – and our ability domestically to manage every kind of release, from specialised platforms to wide openings – is what truly defines Focus’s unique approach.”
“Focus’ 2010 slate further demonstrates its unique ability to continually develop and deliver some of the best and most compelling specialty films in our industry,” Universal Pictures co-chairman Donna Langley said.