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Film News Roundup: Chinese-Language Version of ‘Abominable’ Offered in U.S. Theaters

In today’s film news roundup, “Abominable” gets a Chinese-language version, “The Mandela Effect” gets a home, Buffalo 8 expands its post-production services and “Miracle on Grass” is becoming a movie.

SPECIAL RELEASE

Universal Pictures has partnered with audio tech company TheaterEars to offer a Mandarin-language version of “Abominable” for Chinese-speaking moviegoers.

“Abominable,” produced by DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio, centers on the relationship between a modern Chinese teenager and a Yeti. By using the TheaterEars app, users will be able to listen to a Mandarin audio track at any of the 4,000 U.S. theaters showing the animated adventure.

The partnership marks the first time that a nationally released Hollywood movie has offered a Chinese audio option. Additionally, Universal and TheaterEars will also offer Spanish audio for the film. The film’s U.S. voice cast includes Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin and Michelle Wong.

Universal Pictures will release “Abominable” nationwide on Sept. 27. Pearl Studio will release the film in China beginning on Oct. 1.

ACQUISITION

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to the drama “The Mandela Effect,” directed by David Guy Levy and written by Levy and Steffen Schlachtenhaufen, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film stars Charlie Hofheimer, Aleksa Palladino, Robin Lord Taylor and Clarke Peters. “The Mandela Effect” will be available in theaters and on demand on Dec. 6.

The movie follows a man who becomes obsessed with facts and events that have been collectively misremembered by thousands of people. Believing the phenomena to be the symptom of something much larger, his obsession eventually leads him to question reality itself.

“It’s a film for anyone who has ever asked themselves even the most basic existential questions and decided to find answers to those questions without fear of what they could mean,” Levy said.

Tony Piantedosi from Gravitas Ventures negotiated the deal with Asher Goldstein on behalf of Periscope Entertainment.

POST-PRODUCTION DEAL

Buffalo 8 has finalized a deal to expand its post-production services division by merging Jonathan Sheldon’s Stand Sound and Thunk Post-Production as well as Tims Johnson’s Blacklist Digital.

The company’s expanded division will be housed at the 6500 Sunset Boulevard location in central Hollywood. It will include color grading, visual effects, editorial and post audio with feature film and television sound mixing, as well as full delivery.

Sheldon and Johnson previously worked on Blumhouse’s “Unfriended: Dark Web,” XYZ’s “The Standoff At Sparrow Creek,” Fangoria’s “Puppet Master,” Hulu’s “East Los High,” and Comedy Central’s “Drunk History.” Buffalo 8 has been partnered with Sheldon and Johnson for several years.

PROJECT LAUNCHES

Ted Collins, principal of Gritty Film Productions, has acquired exclusive rights to develop author David Fanucchi’s book “Miracle on Grass,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Fanucchi was the press officer for the 2000 USA Baseball Olympic Team, which won the Olympic gold medal and was led by manager Tommy Lasorda. The unknown squad of American minor leaguers stunned the international baseball powerhouse from Cuba.

“Our triumph in 2000 to win the Olympic Gold Medal remains the ultimate moment in the history of this organization,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “So to have the opportunity to work with Ted and Gritty Film Productions on telling that story to the world, is exciting. We look forward to assisting with a feature film production in any way that we can.”

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