Element Pictures have announced that Magnolia Pictures have acquired North American rights to Lenny Abrahamson’s offbeat comedy Frank following intense distributor interest after its world premiere to critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival.
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (What Richard Did, Garage, Adam & Paul), the film was written by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare At Goats) and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Frank stars Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gylenhaal, Scoot McNairy and Michael Fassbender as the titular character, a brilliant and eccentric musician who wears a giant fake head at all times.
Frank was produced by Ed Guiney, David Barron and Stevie Lee, and executive producers are Tessa Ross, Katherine Butler, Andrew Lowe and Nigel Williams. FRANK is an Element Pictures/Runaway Fridge production for Film4, BFI, Protagonist Pictures and the Irish Film Board. FRANK was filmed in Ireland and the USA and utilised the tax incentive Section 481 in addition to Irish Film Board investment.
Gleeson plays Jon, a wannabe musician who finds himself out of his depth when he joins a maverick pop band led by the enigmatic Frank (Fassbender)—a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head—and his terrifying sidekick Clara (Gyllenhaal). It is a fictional story loosely inspired by Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey, as well as other outsider musicians like Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.
Speaking from Park City Lenny Abrahamson said: “I’m delighted that Frank has found a home in the US with Magnolia. I know that the team there has a genuine passion for Frank. Along with their skill and experience this makes them the right partners to bring the film to its audience there.”
Producer Ed Guiney said “Magnolia is an incredibly innovative and exciting company and we have long wanted to work with them. They are the perfect partners for FRANK and we could not be happier that we have landed with them and we are very excited about their plans for the US.”
James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board “We are delighted that FRANK has received such a positive international reaction after its World Premiere at Sundance. Lenny Abrahamson is one of Ireland’s leading directors and FRANK showcases a host of Irish talent including Irish actors Domhnall Gleeson and Michael Fassbender. We hope this US sale will be the first of many international deals signed for this film.”
Frank will be released in Ireland in May.