Film News Roundup: Evangeline Lilly, Ike Barinholtz Starring in ‘Happy Life’ Comedy

In today’s film news roundup, Evangeline Lilly, Ike Barinholtz and Mike Manning get acting jobs, “Easy Rider” returns and Gravitas buys “Chasing Molly.”


Evangeline Lilly and Ike Barinholtz have joined the independent comedy “Happy Life” with David Stassen (“The Mindy Project”) set to write and direct his debut feature film.

Stassen and Barinholtz are also serving as producers alongside Andrew Robinson and Aperture Media Productions. Highland Film Group has come on board to handle international sales which will begin in Cannes this month. UTA Independent Film Group is handling the U.S. sale.

Lilly will portray a new mom who suspects her workaholic husband, played by Barinholtz, of having an affair with an Instagram star. One mistake after another leads her into the arms of a younger man as she struggles to come to terms with her life decisions and be the mother she aspires to be. Principal photography will commence this summer.

Lilly starred in “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Avengers: Endgame” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Barinholtz has starred in “Suicide Squad,” “Blockers,” “Neighbors and will next appear in Amazon’s upcoming film “Late Night” alongside Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling.


Mike C. Manning (Disney’s “Cloud 9”) has been cast in “Son of the South,” directed by Barry Alexander Brown in an adaption of Bob Zellner’s autobiography, “The Wrong Side Of Murder Creek.”

Brown’s frequent collaborator Spike Lee is on board as an executive producer along with him. Manning joins previously announced stars Lucas Till, Lucy Hale, Lex Scott Davis, Julia Ormond, Cedric the Entertainer, Chaka Forman, Sharone Lanier, Brian Dennehy and Jake Abel.

Written by Brown, the civil rights era drama follows the true-life story of Zellner, an Alabama native and the grandson of a Birmingham Klansman who is pulled into the very center of the civil rights movement in 1961. Manning will play the role of Townsend Ellis, best friend of Zellner (Lucas Till).


Fathom Events and Sony Pictures will present 1969’s “Easy Rider” on July 14 and 17 on more than 400 movie screens across the country.

“Easy Rider” originally opened July 14, 1969. “In 1969, I went looking for America,” star Peter Fonda said. “Fifty years later, I’m still looking.”

Prior to its Fathom Events presentation, “Easy Rider” will return to the Cannes Film Festival (where it was honored with the “First Film” award in 1969 for director Dennis Hopper) as part of Cannes Classics 2019.

Both Cannes and Fathom Events will present a restored 4K version of the film from its original 35mm negative. The restoration was done by Sony Pictures Entertainment in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna.


Gravitas Ventures has acquired the North American rights to director Josh Sutherland’s comedy film “Chasing Molly.”

The film is available on demand, including iTunes and Amazon Prime Video. Shelley Pack and Jim Cashman play a pair of con artists tangled in a web of misadventures after a misunderstanding with a ruthless drug dealer. WWE star Kurt Angle and Felica Day co-star in the comedy.

Pack and Sutherland also produced. “We set out to make a raw unfiltered comedy where the characters are unapologetically funny,” they said.


Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Judy Movie 2019 renee zellweger

    Korea Box Office: ‘Judy’ Debuts on Top as Cinemas Slump To Historic Lows

    The South Korean box office, which has been widely affected by coronavirus and has fallen to historic lows, was further hit by leading exhibitor CJ-CGV’s recent decision to shut 35 complexes nationwide, and to reduce screenings at those theaters remaining in operation. Opening on Wednesday (Mar. 25), Oscar-winning drama “Judy” debuted on top of the [...]

  • 'Elephant' Review: Less Majestic Than the

    'Elephant,' Narrated by Meghan Markle: Film Review

    Of all the members of the animal kingdom we think of as akin to humans — chimps, dolphins, whales, perhaps (if we’re being honest about it) our dogs — elephants may be the most movingly and preternaturally aware. Because you can see how intelligent they are. You see it in a chimp’s face, too, of [...]

  • Ken Shimura

    Ken Shimura Japanese Comedian Dies of Coronavirus Age 70

    Ken Shimura, a comedian who was a fixture on Japanese television for decades, died on Sunday evening from the coronavirus, the Japanese media reported Monday. He was 70, and immediately before his illness had been set for his first starring role in a feature film. Shimura entered a Tokyo hospital on March 20 with fever [...]

  • Gerard Schurmann, Film and TV Composer,

    Gerard Schurmann, Film and Concert Composer, Dies at 96

    Gerard Schurmann, whose 1960s film scores included “The Bedford Incident” and “Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow” but who also composed extensively for the concert hall, died March 24 at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He was 96 and had recently been in declining health. Schurmann’s death was announced by his music publisher, Novello & [...]

  • Rita And Tom Hanks Coronavirus

    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Return to U.S. After Coronavirus Diagnosis in Australia

    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are back home in the U.S. after they revealed they had contracted coronavirus and were quarantined in Australia. Hanks gave an update on Twitter Saturday morning, thanking everyone who had helped them in Australia and assuring people that they are still isolating themselves in the U.S. “Hey, folks…We’re home now [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content