Sony Classics takes ‘Money’

Bregman producing Holofcener-helmed comedy-drama

Sony Pictures Classics has pulled out its wallet to finance writer-helmer Nicole Holofcener’s “Friends With Money,” starring Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand and Joan Cusack. SPC has world rights to the film, which is shooting in Los Angles.

This Is That’s Anthony Bregman is producing the pic, budgeted at roughly $6 million, with company partners Anne Carey and Ted Hope.

The contempo comedy-drama about couples in L.A. stars Aniston as a single woman who’s looking for a man and whose three best friends are all wealthy and married.

“We’ve really liked Nicole and have been interested in her since her first film, ‘Walking and Talking,’ ” said SPC co-topper Michael Barker.

The helmer’s last effort was “Lovely & Amazing,” which Bregman and Hope produced.

SPC — which recently backed Merchant Ivory Prods.’ upcoming period drama “The White Countess” — has become primarily known as an acquirer of finished product even though the specialty arm has boarded projects from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to “The Company” at script stage.

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“The thing about us is that we’re into the director,” explained co-head Tom Bernard, whose SPC got into the mix on “Money” before the cast was concrete. “We knew this was a bigger budget than (Holofcener’s) other two pictures. This is something we do a lot of and nobody knows about.”

Bregman said that the limited availability of the cast’s main quartet meant SPC had to jump into action quickly. “We were working with actors that had very narrow windows. It was one of those situations where we had to make the movie quickly or not make it at all.”

“We had virtually no time to put the movie together,” added Hope. “Michael and Tom, and (SPC senior VP of acquisition and productions) Dylan Leiner, moved superfast as a team. They are very much a filmmaker-driven company.”

SPC has not settled on a release date.

Company, which heads to Sundance with five features to launch, recently finalized a pact with GreeneStreet Films to distribute Sally Potter’s “Yes.”