Screen Media Acquires BLACKBIRD Starring Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Sam Neill, Rainn Wilson
Screen Media, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, today announced the acquisition of all North American rights, as well as select international territories, of Roger Michell’s latest feature film, Blackbird.
Starring Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Sam Neill, Rainn Wilson and Bex Taylor-Klaus, Blackbird premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Screen Media plans to release the film, acquired from Millennium Media, in September.
In Blackbird, Lily (Sarandon) has learned she is terminally ill with ALS, so she and her husband Paul (Neill), gather the family and loved ones together to discuss her options. But once together, opinions vary, especially those of Lily’s daughters, Jennifer (Winslet) and Anna (Wasikowska) and what was intended as a loving family gathering quickly shifts into a panoply of family dynamics.
Directed by Roger Michell (My Cousin Rachel, Notting Hill, and the upcoming The Duke with Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent,) and written by Christian Torpe, Blackbird is produced by David Bernardi, Sherryl Clark and Robert Van Norden.
“I think all of us were surprised by how powerful this little film turned out. It punches far beyond its weight and in the final round delivers an astonishing and emotional knockout blow,” said Michell. “But along the way it’s much funnier than we all thought too. The ensemble is faultless, and the detail of their performances stops the story feeling maudlin or self-indulgent. I think we’re all really proud of it.”
“It should come as no surprise with a cast as renown as the one in Blackbird, and under the direction of Roger Michell, that this film is incredibly engaging and moving but also with moments of humor as it examines the messiness of living,” said Seth Needle, SVP of Global Acquisitions and Co-Productions at Screen Media.
“Blackbird is, without question, the most beautiful film that we have ever made,” said Jeffrey Greenstein, President at Millennium Media. “Balancing the delicate material with grace and levity, Roger Michell takes the audience on a tough, yet touching journey brought to life by an incredibly talented group of actors. The film deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible – an endeavor we’re looking forward to championing alongside the enthusiastic team at Screen Media.”
Needle and Mike Messina, EVP of Distribution at Screen Media, negotiated the deal with Greenstein and Jonathan Yunger, Co-Presidents at Millennium Media, on behalf of the filmmakers. Yunger and Greenstein continue to handle foreign sales.
The Blackbird acquisition continues the recent roll for Screen Media, as their historic drama Robert the Bruce, which debuted last month, has been topping the independent charts. In addition, Screen Media announced the acquisition of Rod Lurie’s feature film The Outpost, based on Jake Tapper’s New York Times Best Seller The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, and released John Turturro’s The Jesus Rolls premiered on DVD last week. The company is also in post-production on Willy’s Wonderland with Nicolas Cage.