×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ethan Hawke’s Baseball Drama ‘The Phenom’ Sold to RLJ Entertainment

RLJ Entertainment has acquired all U.S. rights to baseball drama “The Phenom,” starring Ethan Hawke, Paul Giamatti, Johnny Simmons and Sophie Kennedy Clark.

The film, written and directed by Noah Buschel (“The Missing Person”) will have its world premiere on April 17 at the Tribeca Film Festival. RLJ will release “The Phenom” in theaters and on demand on June 24.

Simmons portrays a Major League rookie pitcher who loses control over his pitching and is sent down to the minor leagues, where he begins sessions with an unorthodox sports psychologist, played by Giamatti. In the process, hidden conflicts with his overbearing father — played by Hawke — are brought to light.

Producers are Antonia Bogdanovich (“Phantom Halo”), Jeff Elliott, Kim Jose (“Precious”) and Jeff Rice (“Lone Survivor”). Bogdanovich is the daughter of Peter Bogdanovich.

“As an avid baseball fan, I was immediately drawn to this story, but it is about much more than just the sport,” said Mark Ward, chief acquisitions officer at RLJ. “Ethan Hawke, Paul Giamatti and Johnny Simmons bring to life the struggles within the sport of getting to the top and the cost you sometimes have to pay to get there.”

Jess De Leo of RLJ and Ward negotiated the deal with William Morris Endeavor on behalf of the filmmakers.

RLJ Entertainment’s recent films include “Bone Tomahawk,” starring Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins; “Criminal Activities,” with John Travolta, Michael Pitt and Dan Stevens; “The Cobbler,” with Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi; and “Nina,” starring Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo.

Hawke was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar last year for “Boyhood.” Giamatti won that award for 2005’s “Cinderella Man.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Maleficent Mistress of Evil

    Box Office: Why 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Fizzled

    Despite nabbing first place at the domestic box office, Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted significantly below expectations and demonstrated that even the most powerful studio in Hollywood is susceptible to missteps. The follow-up to 2014’s “Maleficent” kicked off in North America with a lackluster $36 million bow, an underwhelming result for a film that [...]

  • Gavel Court Placeholder

    Netflix Movie Scammer Admits to Defrauding Investors Out of $14 Million

    A California man has admitted to defrauding investment groups — nabbing $14 million — by falsely claiming the money would be used to produce a feature film for Netflix. On Oct. 18, Adam Joiner, 41, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court, according to federal authorities. [...]

  • Tio-Yim

    Morelia Film Festival Highlights Mexican Indigenous Women Filmmakers

    This year’s Morelia Intl. Film Festival (FICM), with support from a FilmWatch scholarship awarded by the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will host a Mexican Indigenous Filmmakers: Identity and New Narratives forum for women directors. Issues such as diversity, identity, gender equity, inclusion and broader topics such as the challenges of film [...]

  • lighthouse

    Festival Winners, Oscar Hopefuls Vie for BIFA International Award (EXCLUSIVE)

    The long list for the coveted best international picture prize at the British Independent Film Awards includes Cannes Palme d’Or and London Film Festival winners, as well as pictures from Pedro Almodovar, Robert Eggers and Noah Baumbach. Multiple titles that have been submitted to compete for the Oscar for best international feature film are also [...]

  • Parasite

    Mexico’s Cinepolis Launching New Arthouse Distributor with ‘Parasite’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico – There’s a new arthouse player in town. Cinepolis, one of the top exhibitors in the world, is launching a new arthouse film distribution unit in Mexico called Sala de Arte Distribucion. Focusing on auteur films that have premiered at leading film festivals worldwide, Sala de Arte launches in December with “Parasite,” Bong [...]

  • Francis Ford CoppolaFrancis Ford Coppola Masterclass,

    Francis Ford Coppola's Slam on Marvel Films Fuels Debate Sparked by Martin Scorsese

    Disparaging remarks by Francis Ford Coppola have further inflamed the debate sparked by Martin Scorsese and his criticism of Marvel and other comic book films. At a press conference in Lyon, France, where he was being honored at the Lumiere festival, the “Godfather” director said he fully agreed with Scorsese’s assessment and went even further [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent and Elle

    China Box Office: Hollywood Sweeps Up With ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Gemini Man’

    The first Hollywood blockbusters to hit China after the country’s big National Day holiday have, as expected, swept away holdover patriotic titles that had previously ruled the box office. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” edged out another new release, “Gemini Man,” to lead the pack with a $22.5 million opening weekend. While Disney’s “Maleficent” arrived in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content