Drama-comedy planned for theatrical and VOD release
Magnolia Pictures has acquired US rights to Rob Reiner’s drama-comedy “The Magic of Belle Isle.”Pic stars Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Madeline Carroll, Kenan Thompson, and Fred Willard. The film was written by Guy Thomas, and produced by Alan Greisman, Lori McCreary, Salli Newman and David Valdes. Freeman plays a famous Western novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing. He takes a lakeside cabin for the summer in picturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door, including a single mom played by Madsen. Magnolia plans a theatrical and VOD release in its Ultra VOD program in the summer. The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and Head of Business Affairs Chris Matson with John Sloss and Dana O’Keefe for Cinetic Media, and Martin Shafer of Castle Rock. Pic was being sold at the American Film Market as “Summer of Monty Wildborn.” Nicolas Chartier’s Voltage Pictures is selling international rights. Reiner — whose directing credits include high-profile studio fare like “A Few Good Men,” “When Harry Met Sally” and “The Princess Bride” — said at AFM that the pic was made for $5 million in 25 days. “Actors will work for scale if the material is really good,” Reiner said at the time. Reiner also said the name of the film was changed to “Summer of Monty Wildhorn” (the name of Freeman’s character) because the former title, “Summer at Dog Dave’s,” was generating confusion. Production took place in July and August in Greenwood Lake, NY, and took advantage of the state’s incentive credits.