'Blade Runner' Writer Hampton Fancher Documentary
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Intl. Film Festival

Grasshopper Film has bought all U.S. distribution rights to Michael Almereyda’s Hampton Fancher documentary “Escapes,” which is executive produced by Wes Anderson.

“Escapes” will open in theaters this summer followed by a VOD and home video release in the fall. Fancher is best known as producer and screenwriter of the iconic sci-fi movie “Blade Runner,” as well as screenwriter on the upcoming sequel “Blade Runner 2049.” The sequel, starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, opens Oct. 6.

Fancher wrote the “Blade Runner” script with David Peoples for the 1982 original, adapted from the Philip Dick story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and directed by Ridley Scott. He teamed with Michael Green for “Blade Runner 2049,” directed by Denis Villeneuve.

The documentary includes extensive archival footage as Fancher describes romantic misadventures, two brief marriages, and wayward acts of jealousy, chivalry, and friendship.

“It’s difficult to describe the thrill I experienced while watching ‘Escapes,’ a wild ride through a particular corner of Hollywood in the mid-to-late 20th century with the incomparable Hampton Fancher as guide,” said Grasshopper Film president Ryan Krivoshey. “Michael has achieved something truly extraordinary with this film – both entertaining and innovative in form –  and we are extremely excited to be releasing it.”

“Escapes” screened as a work in progress in the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Viennale in Austria, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Dennis Harvey of Variety gave the film a strong review after the San Francisco showing: “The result — an odd departure for the recently prolific Almereyda, his profile newly boosted by narrative sleeper ‘Experimenter’ — is a unique, breezy pastiche that’s as nostalgic as a TV Land binge-watch, and as intimate as having one’s ear pleasurably bent by a garrulous ‘man of the world’ at a dinner party.”

“‘Escapes’ has something to say about the connections between art and life,” said Almereyda. “We tried to capture the spirit of duende that Hampton invokes – and measures himself by – and defines as ‘anything that wants to live beyond its limits, that is expressive and crazy.’ I’m very pleased that Grasshopper has embraced the film, as they have a habit of supporting work that fits this description.”

Fancher played a feral zombie in “The Brain Eaters” and appeared in two Delmer Daves features starring Troy Donahue. Fancher also wrote the screenplay for “The Mighty Quinn” and wrote and directed “The Minus Man.”

The deal was negotiated by Ryan Krivoshey with Bethany Haynes of Sloss Eckhouse LawCo, on behalf of the filmmaker.

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