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Film News Roundup: Paramount Buys ‘Book Club,’ Starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda

In today’s film news roundup, Paramount buys the Diane Keaton-Jane Fonda comedy “The Book Club,” Gravitas picks up “Public Schooled,” and Saban strikes a Canadian output deal.

AFM DEALS

Paramount Pictures is in negotiations for the rights to the comedy “The Book Club,” starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen.

The deal covers North American, U.K., and French rights for the June Pictures project. Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Craig T. Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss, Alicia Silverstone, Tommy Dewey, Katie Aselton, Ed Begley Jr., and Wallace Shawn are also starring

Bill Holderman is directing from a script co-wrote with Erin Simms about four friends in their 60s who read “Fifty Shades of Grey” in their monthly book club and have their lives forever changed. Holderman, Simms, Andrew Duncan, and Alex Saks are producing the project.

“The Book Club” is financed by June Pictures and Endeavor Content. Bloom is selling international territories at the American Film Market. “The Book Club” was unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The news about Paramount was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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Kaleidoscope Film Distribution and XYZ Films have closed a deal for Gravitas Ventures to buy U.S., Australia, and South Africa rights to Kyle Rideout’s comedy “Public Schooled.”

Judy Greer, Daniel Doheny, Siobhan Williams, and Russell Peters star in the movie, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Gravitas will release the film theatrically in the U.S. in the late first quarter or early second quarter, and Kaleidoscope Entertainment will release the film theatrically in the U.K.

“Public Schooled” is based on a script co-written by Rideout and Josh Epstein in which a socially awkward homeschooled student, played by Doheny, falls in love with a popular one-legged girl (Williams) and abandons his mother’s suffocating love and enrolls in public school, getting a crash course in sex, drugs, and social mayhem.

Epstein produced the film, with Adam Folk co-producing and Justine Whyte executive producing.

TERRITORY DEAL

Los Angeles-based film acquisition and distribution company Saban Films is partnering with Toronto-based Mongrel Media to release their 2018 North American titles in Canada.

The titles include Roland Joffe’s “The Forgiven,” starring Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana; Alexandros Avranas’ “True Crimes,” starring Jim Carrey and Charlotte Gainsbourg; and Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms’ “Small Town Crime,” starring John Hawkes and Octavia Spencer. Saban Films has released 30 films in the U.S. since its launch in May 2014, with another 22 acquired and slated to be released through 2018.

“We have developed a close partnership with Mongrel over the past couple years, having released 14 films with Andrew Frank and the rest of the team, and delivering strong numbers across the board,” said Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration and working together for our 2018 slate.”

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