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‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Fan Documentary Bought by Drafthouse

Drafthouse Films has acquired the worldwide rights to Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen’s  documentary “Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.”

“Raiders!” has screened last year at SXSW and has played at the Doc NYC and Fantasia International Film Festival. Drafthouse plans a limited theatrical release across North America in the summer alongside a variety of VOD and digital platforms, with a Blu-ray/DVD release later in the year.

The documentary follows Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb and their efforts to make a faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” starting out when they were 11-year-olds in Mississippi. They spent seven years on the project and finished every scene except for the film’s airplane setpiece, then reunited over two decades later with the original cast members from their childhood in order to complete the film.

The documentary includes interviews with John Rhys-Davies, who portrayed the excavator Sallah in the Spielberg film, and Eli Roth. It was produced by Coon and Skousen with Kyle Newman executive producing.

Popular on Variety

Variety’s Peter Debruge said in his review, “Raiders! captures the obsessive hold that movies have on young people’s imaginations.”

“Alamo Drafthouse and Tim League were instrumental in these kids’ adaptation being discovered over a decade ago,” said Coon, “and they have been so supportive as we made our documentary over the last two years. It’s great to keep it in the family with a Drafthouse Films release. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”

The deal was negotiated by James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Linzee Troubh on behalf of Cinetic Media.

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