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Open Road Films has nabbed all U.S. distribution rights to the Marlon Wayans spoof comedy Fifty Shades of Black.
IM Global is producing and financing the project, which was presented to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival. There, it sparked a bidding war, with multiple studios and indies vying for the project. A source pegged the deal at $5 million.
It came down to The Weinstein Company, Relativity Media and Open Road, which prevailed partly due to a relationship it forged with Wayans and IM Global on the hit spoof A Haunted House (that film spawned a sequel). Michael Tiddes, who directed both Haunted House films, will direct Fifty Shades of Black.
Wayans will star in and write the Fifty Shades of Grey send-up with longtime collaborator Rick Alvarez. IM Global CEO Stuart Ford is producing alongside Wayans and Alvarez. IM Global’s Matt Jackson, Glendon Palmer and Steve Squillante are executive producing.
Fifty Shades of Black is scheduled to shoot in the summer in Los Angeles. Open Road is planning a wide release for Jan. 29, 2016, roughly one year before Universal is scheduled to release its Fifty Shades sequel, Fifty Shades Darker.
“Our love for Marlon Wayans is unmatched and along with our friends at IM Global, we can’t wait to introduce the world to Mr. Black,” Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg said. “We truly couldn’t be more excited about being back in business with Marlon, Rick and the IM Global team.”
Added Wayans: “Looking forward to another fun ride with IM Global and Open Road. Third time is the charm. We’ve gotten so close [that] the big cheeses have got Ebonical names: Tommy-O and Stu-money. It’s official fan status. Love. Good to make fun product with fun people. Let’s strap up and enjoy the ride.”
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road by Ortenberg, Elliott Kleinberg and Peter Lawson. Ford and Deborah Zipser negotiated on behalf of IM Global alongside Larry Kopeikin of Morris Klein Yorn. CAA packaged and sold the project.
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