'Buck' stops at Magnolia Pics

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Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to the John Malkovich starrer "The Great Buck Howard" from Bristol Bay Prods. and Playtone Pictures for a low-seven figures.

Malkovich's title role centers on a one-time Las Vegas mentalist relegated to performing in shabby venues in middle America. Colin Hanks plays a disillusioned law student who become the performer's road manager against the wishes of his father, portrayed — appropriately enough — by Tom Hanks.

The cast includes Emily Blunt.

A fall theatrical release is planned. Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said execs were mulling whether to bow "Buck" in limited or wide release and also whether to unspool the film on other platforms simultaneously with its theatrical debut, an occasional Magnolia strategy.

"Buck" surfaced at January's Sundance Film Festival. (partialdiff)
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