Lightning Entertainment, the Santa Monica-based sales, production and distribution company, has acquired international rights to the hit South by Southwest Film Festival comedy, Gus, starring Michelle Monaghan (Source Code, Gone Baby Gone), Radha Mitchell (Olympus Has Fallen, Silent Hill) and Michael Weston (House, Six Feet Under), it was announced today by Robert Beaumont, President of Lightning.
Gus tells the story of Lizzie (Mitchell), who longs to start a family with her husband Peter, but is unable to conceive. Her best friend Andie (Monaghan), single and adrift, gets pregnant from a one-night stand and offers to give Lizzie the baby. Reluctantly, Peter agrees to be the child's father, and before he knows it Andie has moved into the guest room for the duration of her pregnancy. When Peter also invites his ne'er-do-well recovering-addict brother (Weston) to the house, hilarious chaos ensues, testing the limits of friendship, family and a marriage.
The film, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March, marks the feature film debut of Jessie McCormack, who directed from her own script. McCormack is also a producer alongside Kathryn Himoff, Kevin Fitzmaurice Comer and Erik Van Wyck. The film is executive produced by Richard N. Gladstein.
Here's what Robert Beaumont had to say about the acquisition.
"Gus is a touching story which showcases the power of female friendships featuring strong performances grounded in reality from its two leads, Michelle and Radha. We look forward to presenting this title to our buyers."
McCormack started her career in theatre, with her first stage play, "Spine," having runs in New York and Los Angeles. Her last play, "Journey to Dollywood," which featured a voice over from Dolly Parton, enjoyed a successful run in Los Angeles. Prior to Gus, McCormack wrote, directed and starred in the short film, The Antagonist, which played at various film festivals.
Mathilde Epstein and Alexandra Cocean, Lightning's VPs of International Sales, as well as Richard Guardian, Lightning's Acquisitions & Sales Consultant, will introduce the project to buyers at the upcoming Cannes Film Market in May. The film will be making its market premiere on Thursday, May 16th.