Topic Studios Inks First Look Deal With 'The Climb' Team

Courtesy of Zach Kuperstein/Sony Pictures Classics
'The Climb'

Kyle Marvin and Michael Covino's comedic drama bowed in Cannes.

First Look Media's Topic Studios has signed a first-look deal with Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin, the duo behind the comedy The Climb, which bowed in Cannes.

The studio behind Spotlight and Leave No Trace financed and produced The Climb, which Covino and Marvin wrote, produced and starred in, and which has North American and Canadian premieres, respectively, at Telluride and Toronto. The film, Covino’s feature directorial debut, is an adaptation of the original short film of the same name that debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Under their two-year deal, Covino and Marvin will develop, produce and direct feature films for Topic via their Watch This Ready banner. At Cannes, The Climb screened in the Un Certain Regard section and won the Jury’s Coup de Coeur Award, while also being acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and performing well on the film festival circuit.

The film tells the story of an epic friendship between two lifelong friends spanning numerous years, marriages, heartbreaks and conflicts. "In our first project out of the gate, Michael and Kyle created an incredibly funny, original and endearing film that defies categorization," Maria Zuckerman, executive vp Topic Studios, said in a statement.

Covino and Marvin in their own statement said they welcomed continuing their collaboration with Topic Studios. "It’s hard enough convincing people to make one of your crazy ideas into a movie. When Topic said they were interested in all of our crazy ideas, we couldn’t say no!" they said.

Topic's movie credits include Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace, the political documentary Dark Money, from director Kimberly Reed, and Steven Soderbergh's Panama Papers drama The Laundromat, which has a North American premiere at Toronto.