Robert Kenner's Doc 'Merchants of Doubt' Goes to Sony Pictures Classics

The film about pundits-for-hire will be released by the end of the year.

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired worldwide rights to Robert Kenner’s documentary Merchants of Doubt from Participant Media and Omidyar Network, and plans to release it by the end of the year.

Inspired by the book of the same name by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, the doc takes a look at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.

Kenner, who also produced and directed the 2008 doc Food, Inc., produced the new film with Melissa Robledo and executive producers Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann of Participant Media and Pierre Omidyar of Omidyar Network. It was co-produced by Brian Pearle, Taki Oldham, Dylan Nelson and Youtchi von Lintel.

"I was thrilled that Participant Media and The Omidyar Network were ready to back a comedy about science denial and that Sony Pictures Classics will be taking this film out into the world,” Kenner said. “With Merchants of Doubt, I saw a chance to show audiences a world they hadn’t seen before—a chance to lift the curtain and expose how these messages are crafted and sold to the public."

"Merchants of Doubt is that rare triple threat: well made, entertaining and destined to immediately become part of this volatile cultural debate.  We look forward to bringing this outstanding film to the world,” added Sony Pictures Classics.

Jeff Ivers negotiated the deal for the film on behalf of Participant Media with Sony Pictures Classics.