James Franco's 'The Disaster Artist' Picked Up by A24

The Disaster Artist still sxsw - Publicity - H 2017
New Line Cinema

The company will open the movie, which was previously set up at New Line, with a limited engagement on Dec. 1 before going wide a week later.

James Franco’s acclaimed comedy The Disaster Artist finally has a release date, but it won’t be distributed by the studio that made it.

A24, the company behind Ex Machina and Spring Breakers, has made a deal to take over domestic distribution of the movie, setting a Dec. 8 opening date. In the pact, New Line/Warner Bros. retains international distribution, with those dates still to be determined.

Disaster Artist is a making-of movie about one of the worst films of all time, the 2003 drama The Room. Franco directed the comedy as well as stars in it with brother Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson and others.

The movie screened as a work-in-progress at the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival, where it received an extended standing ovation and glowing reviews. (The Hollywood Reporter's take is here.)

But despite the raves, New Line had not dated the movie for release, leading many to speculate that it would shop the movie to another company.

A24 appears to be a perfect blend of distributor and material, and the company is slotting it in the middle of awards season. It will start with a limited engagement Dec. 1 before going wide a week later.

In Disaster Artist, James Franco portrays the eccentric Tommy Wiseau, helmer and star of The Room, which developed a strong cult following, including among celebrities. Wiseau had no filmmaking experience when he set out to write, direct and produce the pic, which centers on a man named Johnny whose fiancee, Lisa, cheats on him with his best friend, Mark.