Columbia Pictures Picks Up Bennett Miller’s ‘Foxcatcher’

Columbia Pictures has officially come on board to co-finance and distribute Foxcatcher, director Bennett Miller’s follow-up to Moneyball. Megan Ellison of Annapurna Pictures has backed the project for over a year now and it’s good that she has not given up. Ellison is best known for backing auteur-driven projects such as Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and John Hillcoat’s Lawless. Now with the financial help from Columbia Pictures, Foxcatcher is going to see the light of day and is destined for awards contention.

Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, the duo who wrote 2005’s Capote, wrote the screenplay for Foxcatcher. The film will be an opportunity to see comedic actor Steve Carell show a side to him we’ve never seen before on the silver screen. He’ll be portraying John du Pont, a millionaire who built a wrestling facility on his Pennsylvania estate called Team Foxcatcher. In 1996, du Pont shot and killed longtime friend and Olympic gold medal wrestler David Schultz (Mark Ruffalo). John du Pont reportedly was a paranoid schizophrenic and had shown bizarre behavior just a few days before the shocking murder. It’s reported that du Pont believed that David Schultz was part of a international conspiracy and wanted to kill him. Sienna Miller will be portraying Schultz’s wife and Channing Tatum will be portraying Schultz’s brother.

Columbia Pictures is planning on a fall 2013 release, which is usually the time studios release films in hopes for awards contention. Although I’m unfamiliar with the true story that the film is based on, it seems like a very bizarre story and would make a solid film. I hope that it’ll shine a light on Carell’s talent as a dramatic actor by taking an unusual darker turn to portray du Pont.

Production for Foxcatcher has already begun in Pittsburgh and is predicted to be ready to premiere early in the fall at one of the major film festivals (perhaps Toronto International Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, or New York Film Festival?) We’ll be hearing a lot more about Foxcatcher within the next year. Judging from the talent involved with the film, Columbia Pictures may have a winner on its hands.

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