Tom Hanks’ comedy A Man Called Otto is going to Sony Pictures for $60million, after a bidding war at the Berlin Film Festival’s virtual European Film Market.
Tom Hanks’ comedy ‘A Man Called Otto’, which is set for a theatrical release, will be written by two-time Oscar nominee David Magee and directed by Marc Forster. It’s based on Swedish novelist Fredrik Backman’s best-selling A Man Called Ove, and the 2015 Swedish film adaption of the novel was nominated for two Oscars, including best foreign language film.
Principal filming begins later this month in Pittsburgh, with Mariana Treviño, Rachel Keller and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo rounding out the cast.
Fredrik Wikström Nicastro of SF Studios produces, along with Rita Wilson, and Playtone’s Hanks and Gary Goetzman. Marc Forster and Renée Wolfe of production company 2DUX2 are executive producers, as is Magee. SF Studios, which was behind director Hannes Holm’s 2015 film version, provides financing.
“What an amazing all-star constellation of talent: Tom Hanks in an iconic role and an exceptional director in Mark Forster; outstanding producers in Rita Wilson, Gary Goetzman and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro; exquisite screenplay from David Magee; a worldwide best-selling book; and our long-time partner, SF Studios,” said Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group chairman and CEO Tom Rothman in a statement.
“Elizabeth Gabler, myself and Sony have had the privilege of working with all of these giants before, but this time we feel like we hit the lottery.”
Wikström Nicastro stated, “Tom and Elizabeth’s passion for the material and vision for how to create a worldwide theatrical event blew us all away. We couldn’t be more excited for Otto to find a home at our friends at Sony.”
Wilson added, “We are thrilled to partner with Sony, who have consistently shown their commitment to film and filmmakers. In this era, which offers so many ways to be entertained, we applaud Sony’s commitment to theatrical exhibition.”
Tom Hanks’ comedy ‘A Man Called Otto’ centres on Otto a temperamental widower who slowly finds the value in developing friendships with his neighbours as he keeps a close watch on the community.
Negotiating the deal were Jon Freedberg, Sony Pictures executive vp, content strategy & business development, and Joe Matukewicz, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions’ Stage 6 Films head. Negotiating for the filmmakers were CAA Media Finance, Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark and Craig Emanuel of Paul Hastings.