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Louis C.K. is buying back his film I Love You, Daddy upon its shelving by The Orchard, following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the indie distributor is wrapping up a deal to return all rights to C.K. and won’t incur any costs from its expensive marketing campaign for the film or its mailing of 12,000 screeners for awards consideration.
The Orchard nabbed worldwide rights to the black-and-white movie for $5 million just after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, with plans for a fall release. When The New York Times published an exposé on the comedian — with claims from five women alleging that C.K. either attempted to or masturbated in front of them, either in person or over the phone — The Orchard suspended its distribution plans for the mid-November release but still maintained its rights, though the situation remained fluid, according to insiders. Likewise, the film also was dropped by its international distributors.
I Love You, Daddy was financed entirely by C.K. and shot on 35mm film over 20 days last summer in New York. The movie, which C.K. directed and co-wrote with Vernon Chatman, had already garnered controversy for a storyline involving a 17-year-old (Chloe Grace Moretz) falling for a lecherous 68-year-old filmmaker (John Malkovich). In addition to a scene in which C.K.’s character’s friend (Charlie Day) mimes masturbation while an actress (Rose Byrne) is on speakerphone, the pic features controversial dialogue, including the use of the N-word by C.K.’s character and multiple jokes about child rape.
C.K. — who confirmed the long-rumored allegations — had a contingency plan to self-distribute I Love You, Daddy on his website if a buyer shied away from the controversial project, but he previously told THR that he was always hoping to secure a theatrical distribution deal. “This is a movie I want to see projected,” he said in September. “I want someone who can put this in theaters. That’s a big goal for me. … Down the road, of course I want people to see it in their homes. Maybe that would be [on] my website, but I want it in theaters first.”
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