You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film News Roundup: ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ Director Sets Comedy ‘Silent Retreat’ at Miramax

In today’s film news roundup, Miramax has set up the comedy “Silent Retreat,” sci-fi romance “Clara” and “Cold Case Hammarskjold” get distribution and Olivia Wilde is honored for directing “Booksmart.”


Miramax has set up the comedy “Silent Retreat” with “Isn’t It Romantic” director Todd Strauss-Schulson attached to helm from a script he co-wrote with Matt Fogel (“The Lego Movie 2”).

Pre-production has started on “Silent Retreat” with plans to shoot in late spring and the early summer supervised by Matthew Anderson at Miramax.

The project centers on a man and woman with relationship issues who decide to go on a meditation retreat that requires absolute silence for three days along with the man’s best friend and recently widowed mother. Disaster ensues in what the filmmakers describe as, “If Gus Van Sant and Buster Keaton made a silent comedy about wisdom, compassion, and the difficulties of digesting a tempeh-based diet.”

“Matt and Todd (who are best friends) have a new best friend in Miramax, a company who is bold and creatively supportive. We’re mostly just thrilled that someone believed in us enough to give us money to make a silent comedy about meditation,” said Strauss-Schulson and Fogel.


Screen Media has bought U.S. rights to Akash Sherman’s sci-fi feature “Clara,” which premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and won best narrative feature film at the Austin Film Festival.

Starring Patrick J. Adams and Troian Bellisario, “Clara” tells the story of an obsessive astronomer and a curious artist who form an unlikely bond which leads to a profound, scientific discovery. Screen Media plans a May theatrical release.

Sherman wrote and directed “Clara,” which is produced by Ari Lantos and executive produced by Anant Singh.


Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to “Cold Case Hammarskjold,” which received the world cinema documentary directing award at the Sundance Film Festival last month.

Mads Brügger directed the film about the 1961 death of United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld in a plane crash. With the case still unsolved, Danish journalist and filmmaker Brügger investigated leads that were either false starts or dead ends before uncovering a critical secret.

“Mads Brügger has gotten ahold of a whopper of a tale,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “’Cold Case Hammarskjold’ is destined to be one of the most hotly-discussed films of the year.”


Olivia Wilde will receive this year’s CinemaCon breakthrough director of the year award for her directorial debut “Booksmart.”

Wilde will be presented with the honor at the trade show’s awards presentation on April 4 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

“Booksmart,” starring Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein, will be released on May 24 by United Artists Releasing. The movie is comedy about high school friendships and the bonds that last a lifetime.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Clement Miserez, Matthieu Warter

    Mediawan Acquires French Production Banner Radar Films (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mediawan has acquired a majority stake in Radar Films, the French production company behind “Belle and Sebastian,” one of France’s most successful family movie franchises. Headed by Clement Miserez and Matthieu Warter, Radar Films has been producing French and English-language films, teaming up with France’s top studios, including Gaumont and SND. Besides “Belle et Sebastien” [...]

  • Jojo Rabbit

    San Diego Film Festival Adds Environmental Focus

    Now in its 18th year, the San Diego Intl. Film Festival, produced by the nonprofit San Diego Film Foundation, once again steals the movie glamour spotlight from its neighbor to the north, combining major regional premieres with a focus on social and environmental issues. Running Oct. 15-20, the festival received more than 3,000 submissions from [...]

  • Festival Directors Panel at Pingyao International

    Global Film Festival Directors Talk Chinese Cinema in Pingyao

    One of the Pingyao International Film Festival’s strengths has been its ability to draw on founders Marco Muller and arthouse auteur Jia Zhangke’s powerful network of global festival directors, who this year made the trek to China’s coal country, in Shanxi province, to engage with new Chinese talent. They gathered for a panel Tuesday afternoon [...]

  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

    Film Review: Angelina Jolie in 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil'

    With her horned headpiece, impossible alabaster cheekbones and high-camp attitude, Maleficent looms as by far the most iconic villain Disney ever created. Landing Angelina Jolie to play the “Sleeping Beauty” baddie in 2014’s live-action redo was a dream-casting coup for which the studio was rewarded with three-quarters of a billion dollars at the global box [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content