Brainstorm Media, an independent film distribution mainstay, has acquired the North American rights to the highly anticipated dark comedy thriller “LaRoy.” The feature debut from Shane Atkinson, features an impressive cast including Steve Zahn (“Dallas Buyers Club,” “The White Lotus”), Dylan Baker (“Happiness”) and John Magaro (“First Cow,” “The Umbrella Academy”). This darkly comedic thriller is based on Atkinson’s original screenplay and produced by Caddy Vanasirikul, Sébastien Aubert, and Jérémie Guiraud.
“We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of ‘LaRoy,’ a film that captivated us from the first moment we read the script,” says Brainstorm Media CEO Michelle Shwarzstein. “The stellar cast and Shane Atkinson’s impressive directorial debut make ‘LaRoy’ a standout addition to our catalog. We are committed to bringing this exceptional film to a wide and appreciative audience.”
Shane Atkinson, the screenwriter behind the 2019 Diane Keaton comedy “Poms,” makes his directorial feature debut with this gripping dark comedy thriller, which has already garnered attention for its unique premise and stellar performances. “I’ve always found tragedy to be the most fertile ground for comedy,” says Atkinson. “The murder victim who, with his dying breath, asks his killer to feed his cat. Or the wife who pushes her husband off a cliff, only to realize that the car keys are still in his pocket. There’s something in the jarring incongruity of crisis and levity that I find appealing.”
“LaRoy” made its highly anticipated premiere at Tribeca Film Festival this year, where it garnered attention for its originality and exceptional storytelling. It captured attention for its originality and exceptional storytelling. The film also earned three awards at the Deauville American Film Festival: the Grand Prix, Audience Award, and Critics Award. The film follows a down-and-out man who is mistaken for a hired killer, leading him to play a dangerous game with dire consequences.
From Next Productions, Executive producers on the film are Brian O’Shea, Giovanna Trischitta, Nat McCormick of The Exchange, Blair Ward, Anders Erdén, and Eric Harbert of Orogen Entertainment, Charles Stiefel and Daneen Stiefel of Needle’s Eye Production, Ali Jazayeri and Viviana Zarragoitia of TPC, Robyn Norwood, Sentwali Holder, and Danny Tanchauco.
Brainstorm Media is thrilled to bring “LaRoy” to a wider audience. Currently, the company is planning the theatrical and digital release of the film in 2024. The acquisitions deal was made between Alex Peters VP of Sales and Acquisitions at Brainstorm Media and Brian O’Shea of The Exchange.
When Ray discovers his wife is cheating on him, he decides to kill himself. He buys a gun, drives to the seedy motel where she and her lover are entangled, and is about to do the deed—but before he can pull the trigger, he gets mistaken for a low-rent hired killer. Desperate for a little respect, and with nothing else to live for, Ray decides to take the job—and soon wishes he had just killed himself.
Ray begins following the target. He doesn’t actually plan on killing anyone; he just likes the feeling of being in control. But when the target spots Ray, a struggle ensues, and Ray accidentally kills the man. Panicked and desperate to put the whole thing behind him, Ray tries to go back to his old life. But he quickly discovers it’s not that easy. Some money has gone missing, and everyone assumes that Ray has taken it. Things further complicate when, thanks to his ineptitude as a killer, the police begin to suspect that Ray’s wife is somehow connected to the murder.
In over his head and sure it couldn’t get any worse, Ray is suddenly confronted by Skip, a down-on-his-luck private detective. Skip too is in search of respect. Constantly mocked by the police for not being a “real” detective, he is determined to solve a case and prove his skills. So when he learns about Ray’s predicament, Skip blackmails Ray into letting him help in the investigation. The two men begin searching for the missing cash and for the truth about who really hired Ray and why.
Their investigation leads them to LeDoux, a prominent businessman and owner of the local car dealership. It seems that LeDoux was being blackmailed by a former mistress, and the missing cash was supposed to be a payoff. LeDoux is also eager to recover the money, and he offers to hire Ray and Skip to find it. But things are further complicated when the real hitman comes to town in search of his payment. With the police closing in and a real killer on their tail, Skip and Ray race to find the money before it’s too late.
About Brainstorm Media
Since Brainstorm Media’s inception in 1995, the company has had a forward-thinking approach to a growing digital marketplace, establishing early video-on-demand deals with major tech platforms. With an ethos of adaptability, Brainstorm continues to expand its network of partners and explore unique models of distribution. Its growing all-rights business builds custom marketing and publicity campaigns that include both traditional opportunities as well as targeted tactics to capture audiences where they are. Under the leadership of CEO Michelle Shwarzstein, Brainstorm’s mission is to realize focused and creative distribution strategies for its content partners.
Most recently, Brainstorm Media released home invasion thriller “Dark Windows” after its world premiere at Popcorn Frights Festival this August. Other notable recent releases include William Kaufman’s “The Channel,” Alex Lehmann’s “Acidman” starring Thomas Hayden Church and Dianna Agron, French horror-comedy “Some Like It Rare,” android-horror “Blank,” Australian raunchy comedy “How to Please A Woman,” Billie Piper’s directorial debut “Rare Beasts,” and the hit pro-skater film “North Hollywood.” Later this year Brainstorm will be releasing Irish neo-noir BARBER starring Aidan Gillan, and crime drama “Limbo,” starring Simon Baker. Brainstorm Media’s first theatrical release was Todd Solondz’s “Dark Horse” and the company has since worked with many acclaimed filmmakers and A-list talent. Learn more at Brainstormmedia.com