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Sundance: Magnolia Acquires Michael Fassbender’s ‘Frank’

Magnolia Pictures has closed a deal to acquire North American rights to “Frank,” the Sundance Premiere selection that stars Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairy.

The comedy, in which Fassbender plays a musician who wears a large papier-mache head at all times, was directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

Frank” was produced by Ed Guiney, David Barron and Stevie Lee, and executive producers are Tessa Ross, Katherine Butler, Andrew Lowe and Nigel Williams. It’s an Element Pictures/Runaway Fridge production for Film4, BFI, Protagonist Pictures and the Irish Film Board.

Fassbender plays the leader of a pop band who hides behind a large fake head. The fictional story is loosely inspired by Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedian Chris Sievey.

“All of us at Magnolia were completely taken with ‘Frank,’” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “It reaffirms the considerable talents of Lenny Abrahamson, who has delivered a beautiful, poignant and hilarious film that speaks on many levels about being an artist. That Michael Fassbender can be so affecting while encased in a papier-mache head proves that he is one of the greatest actors working today.”

The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by senior VP of acquisitions Dori Begley and director of acquisitions John Von Thaden, with WME and Protagonist Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers. Protagonist is handling worldwide sales.

Magnolia is looking at a summer release for the film.

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