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Millennium acquires Linklater’s ‘Bernie’

Jack Black stars in dark comedy

Millennium Entertainment has snapped up U.S. distribution rights Richard Linklater’s dark comedy “Bernie” for over $2 million.

Deal was announced Thursday evening, nearly a month after “Bernie” opened the Los Angeles Film Festival.

“Bernie” stars Jack Black as a mortician and a community leader who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a wealthy widow, portrayed by Shirly MacLaine. Matthew McConaughey also stars. “Bernie” is produced by Mandalay Vision and Wind Dancer.

No release date’s been set. Mark Gill, recently named as president of Millenium Films, will be involved in the marketing campaign — reteaming Gill with Linklater. Gill handled the releases of a pair of Linklater titles — “Before Sunset” and “A Scanner Darkly” — while heading Warner Independent.

Deal was handled by Millenium Entertainment chief Bill Lee and by Cinetic’s John Sloss and WME Global’s Graham Taylor for the filmmakers.

Millennium Entertainment, founded in April 2010, has been beefing up its release schedule recently with three titles set for fall release — Nicolas Cage-Nicole Kidman vehicle “Trespass,” legal drama “Puncture,” starring Chris Evans and directed by Adam Kassen and Mark Kassen; and Elgin James’ “Little Birds,” starring Juno Temple, Kay Panabaker, with Kate Bosworth and Leslie Mann. The company’s first theatrical release came in April with “Trust,” starring Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Viola Davis.

Millennium Entertainment operates a library of more than 1,000 titles including “Paris, Je t’aime,” “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” and “Shadows and Lies.” Nu Image Inc. is the parent company of Nu image/Millenium Films, Millenium Entertainment, Millenium Studios in Louisiana and Nu Boyana Studios in Bulgaria.

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