The streamer has picked up domestic distribution rights to the Clea DuVall-directed film. Original distributor and co-financier Sony Pictures will retain rights in Canada and the rest of the world.
The move is unsurprising as the coronavirus pandemic leaves many American movie theaters shuttered. The film, led by Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, will now premiere as a Hulu Original on Wednesday, Nov. 25.
“This holiday season — more than any other — we could all use a little happiness. It was essential to Sony Pictures and to the filmmakers that Clea’s marvelous and fresh holiday-themed romantic comedy come out when the lights are on the trees,” said Nicole Brown, president of TriStar Pictures. “We are excited that Hulu is geared up to make this happen in the U.S. and grateful that they love the movie as much as we do.”
Brian Kendig, director of content acquisition at Hulu, said the service was “honored to be the streaming home of this fresh and funny romantic comedy that explores love, family and acceptance this holiday season.”
eOne co-financed the film with Sony. Overseas plans, including potential theatrical releases, will be finalized in the coming weeks.
DuVall directs and co-wrote the script with Mary Holland, who also delivers a breakout comedic supporting performance in the film. Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner produced, with Wyck Godfrey and Jonathan McCoy as executive producers.
Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Levy, Burl Moseley, Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen also costar.
“I am beyond grateful to Hulu for providing an incredible home for ‘Happiest Season,’ and I’ll forever cherish my journey with Sony Pictures who felt just as strongly as I did about the value of bringing the first major LGBTQ+ holiday rom-com to audiences,” said DuVall. “I’m hopeful that this universal story, told through a unique lens, will join the long list of holiday classics that continue to bring all of us so much joy and happiness.”
Read the full synopsis for “Happiest Season”:
Meeting your girlfriend’s family for the first time can be tough. Planning to propose at her family’s annual Christmas dinner — until you realize that they don’t even know she’s gay — is even harder. When Abby (Kristen Stewart) learns that Harper (Mackenzie Davis) has kept their relationship a secret from her family, she begins to question the girlfriend she thought she knew. Happiest Season is a holiday romantic comedy that hilariously captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family’s acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.