Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Cinelou's The Comedian


NEW YORK (October 5, 2016) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired North American rights to Academy Award® winner Taylor Hackford’s comedy, THE COMEDIAN.  Written by Art Linson, THE COMEDIAN stars Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro, Leslie Mann, Edie Falco, Harvey Keitel, Danny DeVito, Patti LuPone and Veronica Ferres. The film will have an awards qualifying run in 2016 and open officially in 2017. 

THE COMEDIAN is produced by Hackford, Cinelou’s Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon, as well as Linson Entertainment’s Art Linson and John Linson. The film is executive produced by Cinelou’s Scott

Karol, the Fyzz Facility’s Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones, Mad Riot Entertainment’s Mark Axelowitz and Lawrence Smith, as well as Iain Abrahams, Peter Sobiloff, Dennis Pelino and Fredy Bush. 

An aging comic icon, Jackie (Robert De Niro) has seen better days.  Despite his efforts to reinvent himself and his comic genius, the audience only wants to know him as the former television character he once played.  Already a strain on his younger brother (Danny DeVito) and his wife (Patti LuPone), Jackie is forced to serve out a sentence doing community service for accosting an audience member. While there, he meets Harmony (Leslie Mann), the daughter of a sleazy Florida real estate mogul (Harvey Keitel), and the two find inspiration in one another resulting in surprising consequences.  

"Robert De Niro is at his very best in THE COMEDIAN. Leslie Mann is a revelation. A rich supporting cast including Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Patti LuPone, Cloris Leachman, and Harvey Keitel really delivers. Taylor Hackford is the accomplished ringmaster. It will be a pleasure bringing this satisfying movie to American audiences. It is great to be in business with our friends Art Linson, Courtney Solomon and Mark Canton,” said Sony Pictures Classics. 

“Being invited by Bob De Niro and Art Linson to join them in actualizing their long-gestating passion project was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” said director Taylor Hackford. “Passion was the key word for everyone on this film — with De Niro in the lead, and Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon’s Cinelou making it happen.” 

Cinelou’s Canton stated, “Robert De Niro has been nurturing this story for years, so we’re incredibly honored to have been able to help bring it to life.  Sony Classics is tailor-made to release the film, as Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have the perfect sensibility for it.” 

“There’s amazing chemistry between Bob and Leslie. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, but both of these actors have a talent for injecting drama into all the right places creating a great balance between the humor and drama,” added Solomon. 

Warner Bros. International will be handling foreign distribution, under its deal with Cinelou. 


Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.  Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 32 Academy Awards® (28 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 159 Academy Award® nominations (133 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for WHIPLASH, AMOURMIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATIONCAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.


Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to


Cinelou Films is a full-service film development, financing and production company based in Los Angeles, CA. Cinelou’s emphasis is on producing prestigious, critically acclaimed movies driven by auteur directors and powerful, moving performances. As co-CEOs of Cinelou, Courtney Solomon and Mark Canton are able to tap into their wealth of resources from over 30 years experience in the film industry to bring relatable, entertaining and high-caliber scripts to life.

With the launch of its distribution arm, Cinelou Releasing, Cinelou has established a platform by which important, independent films can be delivered to audiences. Recognizing the void left by the current major studio distribution model, Solomon and Canton have created Cinelou Releasing to give a voice to independent filmmakers while allowing them to retain control over the marketing and distribution of their films. Cinelou Releasing plans to release four films per year comprising both Cinelou titles and bold acquisitions that don’t typically fit into the traditional studio model.

For further information: Press Contact for SPC: IDPR Bebe Lerner (323) 822-4800 Sheri Goldberg (646) 723-3800 Claire Kelleher Colletti (646) 723-3820