The heartfelt family dramedy premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival to audience and critical acclaim
Bleecker Street announced today that they’ve acquired “Ezra” from actor-turned-director Tony Goldwyn, starring Emmy Award-winner Bobby Cannavale, Emmy Award-nominee Rose Byrne, Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro, and newcomer William A. Fitzgerald. The film was written by Tony Spiridakis and made its world premiere in the Special Presentations section at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Additional cast includes Vera Farmiga, Rainn Wilson, and Whoopi Goldberg. Bleecker Street is planning a 2024 theatrical release for the film.
Described by Deadline’s Valerie Complex as “a touching testament to the power of love, acceptance, and the challenges of parenthood,” Ezra follows Max Brandel (Cannavale), a once successful late-night comedy writer turned less-successful stand-up comedian, who struggles through the failure of his career and marriage. After moving in with his father, Stan (De Niro), Max and his ex-wife Jenna (Byrne) remain at odds on how to best raise their autistic son, Ezra (Fitzgerald). Ezra is an endearing and funny exploration of a fractured family determined to push through hardship to care for the ones they love most.
The deal was negotiated by Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street, with CAA Media Finance and Laura Rister on behalf of the filmmakers. William Horberg, p.g.a, Jon Kilik, p.g.a, and Goldwyn and Spiridakis produced. Executive producers are Zhang Xin for Closer Media; Steve Sarowitz, Andrew Calof, Justin Baldoni, and Jamey Heath on behalf of Wayfarer Studios; Richard D. Lewis; Lois Robbins; and Cannavale and De Niro.
This marks the second acquisition by Bleecker Street out of TIFF following James Hawes’ “One Life,” starring Academy Award-winner Anthony Hopkins which debuted in the Special Presentation section. The company has been active in the acquisition space, recently acquiring the U.S. rights to British comedy “Fackham Hall” starring Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Thomasin McKenzie, Katherine Waterston, and Emma Laird; and the UK rights to Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, “The Boy and the Heron,” alongside Elysian Film Group and Anonymous Content. Bleecker’s upcoming highly-anticipated release slate features Meg Ryan’s “What Happens Later,” starring Ryan alongside David Duchovny, releasing on November 3; Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson’s “Waitress: The Musical,” which is set for a December 7 release with Fathom Events; “Out of Darkness,” a Stone Age-set thriller which recently had its North American premiere at Fantastic Fest, releasing February 9; and Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s space station-set thriller “I.S.S.,” which debuted at the 2023 Tribeca Festival to acclaim and is opening January 26.
About Bleecker Street
Bleecker Street is an independently financed studio based in New York City that was founded in August 2014 by Andrew Karpen. Bleecker has released more than 60 films and has established itself as a trusted label and champion of original cinema, curating an impressive and lauded slate that extends across all genres. Notable Bleecker releases include Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky,” Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace,” the Oscar-nominated “Captain Fantastic” and “Trumbo,” Independent Spirit Award winner “Mass,” Germany’s 2021 entry for Best International Film, “I’m Your Man.” Most recently, Bleecker Street has released Guy Nattiv’s “Golda” starring Helen Mirren, Marc Turtletaub’s “Jules” starring Ben Kingsley, and “Breaking,” “A Love Song,” “Emily,” “The Starling Girl,” and “The Lesson,” acclaimed feature debuts from directors Abi Damaris Corbin, Max Walker-Silverman, Frances O’Connor, Laurel Parmet and Alice Troughton, respectively.
Bleecker’s upcoming slate includes Meg Ryan’s “What Happens Later” in which she also stars alongside David Duchovny releasing November 3rd, Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson’s “Waitress: The Musical,” Andrew Cumming’s stone age-set thriller, “The Origin,” and Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s sci-fi thriller, “I.S.S.” starring Ariana DeBose. The company is also prepping the feel-good comedy “The Fabulous Four” from acclaimed filmmaker Jocelyn Moorhouse, starring Bette Midler and Susan Sarandon. “The Return,” based on Homer’s ancient classic “The Odyssey” and directed by Academy Award nominee Uberto Pasolini and starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche, as well as the next film from legendary auteur Mike Leigh are in post-production.
About Closer Media
Closer Media is a New York-based production company and financier whose mission is to create meaningful stories that bring people closer together. Founded by Zhang Xin in 2022 and under the leadership of Emmy-award winning veteran producer William Horberg, Closer Media is developing and producing scripted and unscripted films and series, with a diverse group of domestic and international filmmakers, for a global audience. Upcoming projects include Alex Gibney’s highly anticipated documentaries “Musk” which HBO acquired, and the definitive documentary of legendary musician Paul Simon, “In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon.” Also upcoming is Raoul Peck’s documentary “Orwell” acquired by Neon and Closer Media’s first narrative feature, Tony Goldwyn’s “Ezra” starring Bobby Cannavale, Robert De Niro, Rose Byrne and newcomer William Fitzgerald.
About Wayfarer Studios
Wayfarer Studios is an independent production studio actively developing, producing, and fully financing a slate of highly original, genre-defining, and globally impactful feature films, episodic television, documentaries, unscripted series, and podcasts. Co-founded by Justin Baldoni and Steve Sarowitz and led by President Jamey Heath, their work highlights the power of connection, debunking the typical studio model by championing inspirational stories which unite as true agents for social change. Wayfarer Studios current slate includes “Code 3,” “It Ends With Us,” “The Senior,” “Empire Waist,” “The Algorithm,” “Pac-Man,” and “Badass Biker Chicks of Marrakesh.” The feature film, “Ezra,” premiered in September 2023 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary feature film “The Herricanes” premiered in 2023 at SXSW where it received a Special Jury Award as well as a Documentary Spotlight, and “Racist Trees” premiered domestically at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. In 2020, Wayfarer released the critically acclaimed feature film “Clouds,” the first feature-length movie launched on Disney+, directed by Baldoni. In 2021, Wayfarer entered a first-look multi-faceted partnership with Procter & Gamble spanning across film, TV, and new media, with the first project being the highly successful and Webby-nominated, The Man Enough Podcast. For more information, please visit www.wayfarerstudios.com.