Roadside Attractions and FilmNation Entertainment have bought North American rights to “Beatriz at Dinner.” The comedy debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, earning praise for Salma Hayek’s lead role as a holistic healer. Although written and produced before Donald Trump assumed the presidency, many critics also noted that the picture had a topical air. It follows Hayek’s character, an immigrant from Mexico, as she faces off with a tough-minded real estate mogul and billionaire, played by John Lithgow. The parallels are difficult to miss.
“Beatriz at Dinner” was written by Mike White and directed by Miguel Arteta, the team behind “Chuck & Buck.” In a Variety review, chief film critic Owen Gleiberman praised the directing and writing duo, writing that “they’ve created the kind of Trump-tweaking film that specialty audiences will surely want in 2017: one that says there are two American destinies now, and that we’ll have to choose between them.”
“Miguel and Mike have assembled a cinematic dream team to tell the hilarious and unforgettable story of Beatriz,” said Roadside’s Howard Cohen, Eric d’Arbeloff, and FilmNation’s Glen Basner in a joint statement. “Their collaborations include many of the great independent films of the last two decades. W’’re thrilled.”
The deal is a first for FilmNation, which usually sticks to foreign distribution. It has previously partnered with Roadside on the likes of “A Most Wanted Man” and “Mud.” In those cases, Roadside handled the domestic rollout, while FilmNation focused on overseas sales and distribution.
“Beatriz at Dinner” is a Bron Studios and Killer Films production in association with Creative Wealth Media. It is produced by Pamela Koffler, Aaron L. Gilbert, David Hinojosa, and Christine Vachon.
WME/CAA/UTA negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.