Lions Gate to clown around, get ‘Vulgar’

Bizarre comedy preemed at Toronto

TORONTO — Lions Gate Films has acquired worldwide rights to the Kevin Smith-produced “Vulgar,” the feature writing-directing debut of Bryan Johnson. Pic preemed in the Discovery section of the Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

This bizarre comedy stars Johnson as a professional clown who decides he might have better luck if he played stag parties rather than kids’ parties. He reinvents himself as Vulgar, a transvestite clown who shows up to shock bachelors who were expecting strippers.

Smith and View Askew partner Scott Mosier, who served as co-exec producers on the pic, also have small roles along with Brian O’Halloran (“Clerks”). Monica Hampton produced the film.

“Scott and I are happy to be swinging on the Gate again, as it’s the home of our highest-grossing film to date,” Smith said. “If how they handled ‘Dogma’ is any indication, we’re sure (Lions Gate Releasing co-presidents) Mark (Urman), Tom (Ortenberg) and the rest of the Lions will make ‘Vulgar’ an art-household word,” he added.

“We really bonded with Kevin Smith during ‘Dogma,’ and have the utmost respect for him and his team, who know no limits,” Ortenberg said.

” ‘Vulgar’ ” is another truly original breakout comedy for View Askew, and we are looking forward to bringing it to audiences next summer,” Urman said.

Johnson previously worked with Smith on “Chasing Amy,” on which he served as an assistant production coordinator, as well as on “Mallrats,” in which Johnson had a supporting role.

Deal was brokered by Peter Block, Ortenberg and Urman on behalf of Lions Gate and by attorney John Sloss on behalf of View Askew.

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