Rock biopic to premiere at Sundance
Bob Berney and Bill Pohlad’s Apparition will release “The Runaways” in U.S. theaters.The film stars “Twilight” and “New Moon” thesps Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, who were members of seminal 1970s girl rock band the Runaways. First-time feature helmer Floria Sigismondi scripted, based on Currie’s memoir “Neon Angel: the Cherie Currie Story.” It’s the first film produced by Pohlad’s River Road to funnel through the Apparition machine. We’re separate companies, but the goal all along was to find a film that fit,” said Apparition CEO Berney. “It’s an indie film about an indie rock group — the original girl group. We want that spirit to be a part of the release.” The Runaways” will world premiere at Sundance next month and the filmmakers are hoping to mount a live performance by Jett up at the Park City fest. Pic’s commercial rollout will kick off March 19. Given the “Twilight” star power involved, Berney predicts “some kind of aggressive release, whether it’s wide or not.” River Road produced alongside Linson Entertainment’s John and Art Linson. Jett, Kenny Laguna and Brian Young exec produced. The authenticity of the film reflects Joan Jett’s participation in the project,” added John Linson. “Her presence on the set was a great influence on the actors.” Summit Intl. sold the pic overseas, as it did River Road’s “The Tree of Life” and “Fair Game.” Given the Summit-“Twilight” connection, there had been some speculation over whether the film would be acquired by Summit for the U.S. Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life,” starring Brad Pitt, will also go out via Apparition this summer or early fall, according to Berney, with fest play along the way. Sigismondi’s musicvid work has included clips for David Bowie, the White Stripes and Christina Aguilera. Since its launch four months ago, Apparition has released Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” blaxploitation send-up “Black Dynamite” and Troy Duffy’s “Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.” Emily Blunt starrer “The Young Victoria” heads into theaters this Friday. All domestic ancillary rights for Apparition titles are handled by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group.