Lions Gate gets ‘Love’

Story of teenage girl who returns to childhood home

Lions Gate Films has licensed North American theatrical and pay TV distribution rights to “A Love Song for Bobby Long,” which stars Scarlett Johannson and John Travolta.

Written and directed by Shainee Gabel, pic is the story of a teenage loner who returns to New Orleans after her mother’s death and finds her childhood home occupied by two men who have no intention of leaving.

Producers are Bob Yari, R. Paul Miller and David Lancaster. Executive producers are Brad Krevoy, Randall Emmett and George Furla. Co-producers are Jamie Gordon and Melanie Johansson.

“A Love Song for Bobby Long” world preemed at the recent Venice Film Festival. Lions Gate plans a Dec. 29 platform release, with national expansion in mid-January.

Lions Gate also teamed with Yari on “Crash,” which the distrib bought during the Toronto Film Festival. Yari’s Stratus Film Co. produced that pic.

El Camino Pictures, a partnership between the William Morris Agency and Yari, financed the film. Screen Gems picked up North American rights on “Love Song” just before it began production in June 2003, with the understanding that a third party could handle the film. Vid rights remain with Columbia TriStar Home Video.

Similarly, Screen Gems greenlit a feature version of Angela Robinson’s “D.E.B.S” after screening her short film of that name at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. However, that pic’s theatrical release is now being handled by Samuel Goldwyn Films, which is planning a Jan. 28 bow.

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