Showtime has partnered on the pact and will be the exclusive pay-TV home for the film following its theatrical release in spring 2017. An acquisitions price was not announced.
The film stars Liev Schreiber as Wepner, whose heroics in the ring gained him some notoriety, but whose brush with fame also led to low points involving cocaine, booze and women. “The Bleeder” screened at the Venice and Toronto films festivals.
Reviews for the picture were positive, with Variety‘s Guy Lodge praising the performances and writing that “The Bleeder” is a “familiar but affecting boxing biopic.”
Philippe Falardeau (“The Good Lie”) directs from a script by Jeff Feuerzeig and Jerry Stahl. Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films financed the film. The movie co-stars “Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss and Naomi Watts, Schreiber’s partner.
The deal for the film was negotiated with EVP of acquisitions and productions Arianna Bocco for IFC, along with UTA Independent on behalf of the filmmakers.
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“The Bleeder” was a passion project for Schreiber, who has deep ties to Showtime from his work on “Ray Donovan.”
“I am truly thrilled our film has found a home at IFC Films and Showtime,” Schreiber said in a statement. “The team at IFC Films is pretty much leading the way in terms of effective and substantive theatrical releases right now. As for Showtime, they’ve become family in the past 5 years so to have them be a part of this movie just feels right. Such a great outcome.”
Deadline first reported that a deal had been made.