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Film News Roundup: ‘Dating My Mother’ Bought by Gravitas for Mothers Day Release

In today’s film news roundup, Gravitas buys “Dating My Mother,” Leonardo da Vinci stop-motion project “The Inventor” gets set up and “Walking on Palmettos” will begin shooting.

ACQUISITION

Gravitas Ventures has bought the rights to the Kathryn Erbe-Patrick Reilly family drama “Dating My Mother” and plans to digitally release the film on May 8, prior to Mothers Day, Variety has learned exclusively.

Reilly portrays an unemployed gay screenwriter living in his New Jersey hometown who practices yoga, sips red wine, and power-walks with his mother Joan, played by Erbe. When she reveals she’s seeing another man, their version of domestic bliss comes crashing down. While they search for their versions of Mr. Right, mother and son discover that sometimes you need to be apart in order to grow together.

“Dating My Mother” was written and directed by Mike Roma. It also stars Kathy Najimy, James LeGros, Michael Rosen, and Paul Iacono.

STOP-MOTION FILM

Jim Capobianco, who was nominated for an Oscar for “Ratatouille,” and producer Robert Rippberger are producing “The Inventor,” a stop-motion adventure film about the life of Leonardo da Vinci, Variety has learned exclusively.

Capobianco, who is currently overseeing the animation on Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” is set to direct the feature-length project based on his own script. Don Hahn is executive producer and Kat Alioshin is the project’s line producer.

“’The Inventor’ focuses on legacy, how you choose to live your life and how those choices influence others,” said Capobianco. “It is a film parents can feel confident to return to again and again with their children.”

The film is a continuation of Capobianco’s short, “Leonardo,” which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival.

BIOPIC LAUNCHED

“Walking on Palmettos,” a biopic on convicted smuggler and playboy Myles Richards, a surfer who built a marijuana-trafficking empire in the ’70s, has been set for a January start, Variety has learned exclusively.

Producers are Mark Heidelberger and Jim Christell of FreeWill Films along with Ed Asner. The story focuses on Richards’ success in the weed trade as well as the repercussions, including a fall-out with his father and a game of cat-and-mouse with a relentless FBI agent determined to bring him down.

The feature is scripted by Christell and movie will shoot in Los Angeles and the Caribbean. Heidelberger has produced “It’s Not You, It’s Me” (2013), “Comfort” (2016), “A Christmas in New York” (2016) and thriller “The Basement,” starring Mischa Barton.

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