Samuel Goldwyn Films has signed on to distribute the Gold Circle Films-financed “Sonny,” and has set a Dec. 27 Oscar platform bow for the drama, which marks the directorial debut of Nicolas Cage.
Film, which stars James Franco, Mena Suvari, Brenda Blethyn and Harry Dean Stanton, will expand in January.
Produced by Cage and Saturn Films partner Norm Golightly along with Gold Circle’s Paul Brooks, “Sonny” is the gritty story of a male gigolo (Franco) who struggles to free himself from his madame mother (Blethyn) to make a better life.
Pic, which premiered at the Deauville Film Festival, cost $5 million to make and was financed by Gold Circle, which itself has momentum from producing, with Playtone, hit indie pic “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and underwriting half its $5 million budget.
Gold Circle’s Brooks made the deal with Goldwyn’s Meyer Gottlieb. It is their second recent partnership, following the Andy Garcia starrer “The Man From Elysian Fields.”
“We know that we are somewhat of an underdog, but we are so proud of this film and of the work the cast and everyone involved has put into the project,” said Cage, who figures into another major holiday release with Oscar potential as star of the Spike Jonze-directed, Charlie Kaufman-scripted “Adaptation” at Columbia.