Jesse Eisenberg's 'The Art of Self-Defense' Picked Up by Bleecker Street

Courtesy of The Wallis
Jesse Eisenberg

Riley Stearns' film also stars Imogen Poots and Alessandro Nivola.

Bleecker Street has acquired worldwide rights to Riley Stearns’ dark comedy The Art of Self-Defense, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and is set in the world of karate. The film, which Stearns (Faults) wrote and is directing, also includes Imogen Poots and Alessandro Nivola in its cast and starts filming Monday in Kentucky.

Eisenberg plays a man who is attacked at random on the street and enlists in a local dojo, led by a charismatic and mysterious Sensei (Nivola), in an effort to learn how to defend himself. 

End Cue, a hybrid technology software company and film development and production company, is producing with Andrew Kortschak, Cody Ryder, Stephanie Whonsetler and Walter Kortschak. Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen is serving as executive producer.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with an exciting filmmaker like Riley,” Karpen said in a statement. “Ever since we saw his work at Sundance and SXSW we knew we wanted to be in business with him, and we can’t wait to bring his original and hilarious vision to audiences around the world."

The deal was negotiated by Bleecker Street's Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street. CAA handled negotiations on behalf of the filmmakers.

Bleecker Street’s Breathe, directed by Andy Serkis and starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, will have its world premiere Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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