×

Magnolia Nabs ‘Mister America,’ Political Comedy From ‘On Cinema’ Creators (EXCLUSIVE)

Magnolia Pictures has nabbed North American rights to “Mister America,” a feature-length comedy that’s being billed as an extension of the world of “On Cinema,” the cult Adult Swim show.

The film stars “On Cinema” hosts Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington and follows Heidecker’s attempt to enter the world of politics. Eric Notarnicola, who previously oversaw several episodes of the show along with its 2018 Oscar special, directs. Magnolia is eyeing a fall theatrical release.

In the movie, Heidecker beats a murder charge for selling faulty e-cigarettes at an EDM festival, and mounts a campaign to unseat the San Bernardino District Attorney. His effort to win voters tries to overcome a lack of experience and funding by leaning into the candidate’s personal likability. It does not go well.

“We unleashed Tim into the real world to run the worst campaign in modern history, and document the process,” said Notarnicola in a statement. “I’m thrilled that Magnolia is bringing Tim Heidecker’s message to the masses.

Since launching in 2011 as an independently released podcast,”On Cinema” has undergone several iterations. It later became a web video show, a television series, and a touring production, one that has also inspired spinoffs such as the action series spoof “Decker.” “On Cinema” ostensibly began as a review show, but later focused more on its central podcasters.

“’Mister America is a wonderful tribute to our political process at work,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles in a statement. “It makes me proud to be an American.”

Heidecker’s credits also include roles in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Us,” as well as work as one half of the comedy duo Tim & Eric. Turkington appeared in “Ant-Man” and the indie drama “Entertainment.”

“Mister America’ was written by Heidecker, Notarnicola and Turkington. The film is produced by Andrew Porter. Executive producers are Dave Kneebone, Tim Heidecker, and Eric Wareheim.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia executive VP Dori Begley and Magnolia senior VP of acquisitions John Von Thaden with Mark Wetzstein of Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern LLP representing the filmmakers.

TRENDING ON VARIETY: 

More Film

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

  • Notre dame

    Locarno Film Review: 'Notre dame'

    Not to be too cynical about it, but might the recent horrific fire in Paris’ cathedral attract audiences to a film in which the gothic gem plays a major role? It’s likely a wiser marketing strategy than promoting the unrelenting silliness of Valerie Donzelli’s oh-so-kooky comedy “Notre dame,” the writer-director-star’s return to contemporary Paris following [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content