Electric Entertainment acquired all North American rights earlier this month for the movie, starring Harrelson as President Lyndon B. Johnson with Rob Reiner directing. The film also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Richard Jenkins, Bill Pullman, Jeffrey Donovan, and Michael Stahl-David. It was produced by Reiner, Matthew George, Liz Glotzer, Trevor White, and Tim White. “LBJ” had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The story follows Johnson through his work as Senate Majority Leader, his loss of the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination to Senator John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan), and his agreement to be his young rival’s running mate. But once they win the election, despite his extensive legislative experience and shrewd political instincts, Johnson finds himself sidelined in the role of vice president. That all changes on Nov. 22, 1963, when Kennedy is assassinated.
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman praised Harrelson’s performance in his Toronto review: “Once he becomes president, the job weighs on him like a curse because of how he got it, yet the cataclysm of JFK’s murder shakes something loose in him,” he wrote.
Electric Entertainment launched a domestic distribution division headed by Zac Reeder with its January release of “The Book of Love,” starring Jason Sudeikis, Jessica Biel, and Maisie Williams.