Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired rights to North America as well as most major territories to the heartfelt comedy The Way, Way Back. Directed and written by Academy Award winners Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Way, Way Back stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, AnnaSophia Robb, Amanda Peet and Liam James.
The film was produced by Kevin J. Walsh of The Walsh Company and Tom Rice of Sycamore Pictures, and executive produced by Sycamore's Ben Nearn and George Parra, OddLot Entertainment's Gigi Pritzker, Faxon, and Rash. OddLot Entertainment and Sycamore Pictures co-financed the project.
The film is scheduled to be released in Summer, 2013. Here's what Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula had to say about the project.
"Nat and Jim have crafted a uproarious coming of age story and it is great to be reunited with them. The amazingly pitch perfect cast never misses a beat and was well deserving of the standing ovation the film received yesterday."
"This is a very personal film and it's been a long journey. We are so overwhelmed by the response it received at Sundance and are beyond delighted that it's found a home with our family at Fox Searchlight."
Producers Kevin J. Walsh and Tom Rice also spoke about working with Fox Searchlight.
"We are all elated that a vibrant company like Fox Searchlight shares our enthusiasm for the film and faith in Nat and Jim as writers, directors and storytellers."
The Way, Way Back is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan's (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin).
Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world - all during a summer he will never forget.
The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight's Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O'Brien and Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and WME Global negotiated the deal with Craig A. Emanuel on behalf of the financiers.
Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales for the project for territories outside those acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures.