Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, has acquired global rights to “Wrinkles the Clown,” Variety has learned.
Directed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Michael Beach Nichols (“Welcome to Leith”), the film is eyeing an Oct. 4 theatrical release. The documentary looks at a creepy clown who is hired to terrify misbehaving children in Southwest Florida. Wrinkles went viral after a silent black and white surveillance video was uploaded to YouTube, depicting a child sleeping peacefully before a disheveled old man disguised as a clown slid out from beneath her bed. That led to an outpouring of similar videos and the creation of an internet sensation that rivals Pennywise in sheer, malevolently cheery creepiness.
“Michael has concocted an incredibly unsettling film evocative of urban legend classics like ‘Slender Man’ and ‘The Blair Witch Project,’” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “From Pennywise to the Joker, creepy clowns have terrified people for decades. ‘Wrinkles the Clown’ gives them a reason to fear.”
“Wrinkles the Clown” was financed and produced by Topic Studios. The film was co-written and edited by Christopher K. Walker. It is produced by Jennie Bedusa, Jon Lullo, Brendan Walter, Lowell Shapiro and Mike Dill. Executive producers are Michael Bloom, Ryan Heller and Jihan Robinson for Topic Studios, and Abby Davis.
“Magnet understands that when your kid is acting up, there’s only one clown to call,” said Beach Nichols. “I’m incredibly grateful to Topic Studios for helping produce this tantalizingly twisted film and to Magnet for their help in exposing this weird and wild story to the rest of the world.”
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia executive VP Dori Begley and Magnolia senior VP of acquisitions John Von Thaden with Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers. Magnolia Head of International Sales Lorna Lee Torres and International Sales Manager Marie Zeniter will launch international sales at the Toronto International Film Festival. The studio has made all foreign rights available.
“Wrinkles the Clown” will world premiere this September at Fantastic Fest.