SPWA, Goldwyn nab ‘Robot & Frank’

Partners land North American rights, U.S. theatrical

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Samuel Goldwyn Films are partnering on the U.S. theatrical release and jointly acquiring North American rights to Park Pictures Features’ “Robot & Frank,” for north of $2 million.

The comedy from first-time director Jake Schreier has garnered strongly positive reviews out of the fest. It stars Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon alongside James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Jeremy Sisto, Jeremy Strong and Peter Sarsgaard, who voices the titular robot.

Christopher Ford wrote the futuristic script, which follows a retired jewel thief named Frank (Langella) who gets a new lease on life when he’s introduced to a surprising new companion. With the help of his new friend, he attempts to woo a local librarian (Sarandon) and resume his criminal escapades.

Robot & Frank” is Park Pictures Features’ first film, and it was produced in association with White Hat Entertainment and Dog Run Pictures. Producers include Galt Niederhoffer, Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee and Lance Acord.

Additionally, SPWA has acquired all media rights for Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe including Russia.

Deal was negotiated by SPWA’s exec VP of biz affairs Michael Helfand and Joe Matukewicz, senior VP of acquisitions, with Peter Goldwyn, VP of acquisitions, representing Samuel Goldwyn Films. CAA and ICM negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers. ICM represents Langella, Sarandon and Strong. Park Pictures Features is represented by John Sloss and Marc Simon.

“We have loved this project from the script stage and were at the very first Gala screening in Salt Lake City,” Matukewicz said. “This winning film strikes a special chord with audiences, and we are delighted to bring “Robot & Frank” into the Sony Pictures family. Jake’s film shows us a future that is right around the corner, and I, for one, can’t wait for my own robot”

“Our team fell in love with this clever, irreverent story anchored by Frank Langella’s indelible performance,” said Samuel Goldwyn Films prexy Meyer Gottlieb. “Jake has done a remarkable job and we are thrilled to continue working with talented firsttime filmmakers. We look forward to partnering again with our friends at Sony on a title we know audiences will flock to in droves.”

“I heard Jonathan Demme say once at a Q&A that all you can hope for is to find people who care as much about releasing your film as you did making it,” said Schreier. “The Sony-Goldwyn guys were there from the first night in Salt Lake City and really showed that they got the movie and even connected to it personally. I’m thrilled to be working with them on getting it out into theaters.”

“We are thrilled to have found not one but two passionate partners with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Samuel Goldwyn Films,” said producers Galt Niederhoffer and Sam Bisbee.