Entertainment company acquires rights to 'Letters'
Looking to tap into the faith-based market, Vivendi Entertainment has acquired North American rights for Possibility Pictures’ feature “Letters to God,” and has set a March 12 release date.“Letters,” which recently wrapped in Orlando, Fla., centers on a 9-year-old fighting cancer who copes with the challenges of his treatment by writing letters addressed to God. His letters eventually find their way into the hands of a beleaguered postman who is battling his own demons. “Letters” is directed by David Nixon, a producer of two other faith-based projects — “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants” — and co-directed by Patrick Doughtie. Robyn Lively, Jeffrey S.S. Johnson, Tanner Maguire, Maree Cheatham, Michael Christopher Bolten, Bailee Madison and Ralph Waite star. Film’s the first from Possibility Pictures, which is led by Nixon along with producer Kim Dawson, exec producer Tom Swanson and writer Sandra Thrift. “Letters to God” is based on a story written by Doughtie — inspired by his son’s battle with cancer — with the screenplay penned by Doughtie, Art D’Alessandro, Thrift and Cullen Douglas. Vivendi exec VP Mark Kristol believes “Letters” can tap into the same market as “Fireproof,” the Kirk Cameron starrer that grossed $33 million for Samuel Goldwyn after opening with $6.8 million last fall. He’s expecting to open “Letters” at about 800 playdates. Vivendi Entertainment — a division of Universal Music Group Distribution — has more than 3,000 DVD titles in its library. It added a theatrical distribution arm last year and will release its first title, “New York, I Love You,” on Friday. Kristol said Vivendi plans to release four to six films next year with a focus on niches such as the faith-based and urban genres. “We are expanding the definition of specialty from traditional arthouse films,” he added.