Sundance: Lionsgate Picks Up Jared Hess Comedy Don Verdean

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don verdeanEleven years ago, Jared Hess brought his independent comedy Napoleon Dynamite to the Sundance Film Festival and he returns this year with his new comedy Don Verdean, starring Sam Rockwell, Jemaine Clement, Amy Ryan, Danny McBride, Leslie Bibb and Will Forte. According to Deadline, Hess’ latest has been acquired in advance of its January 28 Sundance premiere by Lionsgate. 

In the movie, Rockwell plays a biblical archaeologist who is hired by a small-town pastor to find relics in the Holy Land, an assignment which he fails miserably at, leading to comedy hijinks. 

The success of Hess’ first film, produced for $400,000 and bought by Fox Searchlight who marketed it to a $44 million gross, has made Don Verdean one of the hot films at Sundance, although it’s been taken off the table before others had a chance to see it. 

 The Deadline story doesn’t mention any numbers in terms of the cost of the movie or how much was paid to acquire it.