Lionsgate announced today that in a deal with Omnilab Media it has acquired North American distribution rights from QED International to W, a biopic about President George W. Bush directed by Oliver Stone from a screenplay by Stanley Weiser (Wall Street). Lionsgate will also distribute W in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The announcement was made today by Lionsgate President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg.
W stars Josh Brolin as George W. Bush, Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush, James Cromwell as George Herbert Walker Bush, Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush, Thandie Newton as Condoleezza Rice, Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell, Scott Glenn as Donald Rumsfeld, and Ioan Gruffud as Tony Blair. The film’s producers are Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik and Bill Block.
W begins production on May 12th in Louisiana. Lionsgate is releasing the film on October 17, 2008.
“It’s an honor to be in business with Oliver Stone, a brilliant and consistently adventurous filmmaker,” said Ortenberg. “With ‘W,’ he again demonstrates his creative vitality and genius for speaking to our times.”
Commented Block, “‘W’ is in the most innovative hands with Lionsgate and Omnilab Media. With the backdrop of the election this fall, ‘W’ will be an event picture that will be eagerly anticipated. Oliver Stone, Moritz Borman and myself could not be more excited about Lionsgate leading the charge this October.”
Christopher Mapp said, “We had a great experience with Lionsgate on ‘The Bank Job,’ and we are delighted to reunite with them as we continue our strategy in investing in quality films that are made by innovative and unique storytellers.”
Said Stone, “The impact of George W. Bush’s presidency will be felt for many years to come. Despite a meteoric, almost illogical rise to power, and a tremendous influence on the world, we don’t really know much about Mr. Bush beyond the controlled images we’ve been allowed to see on TV. This movie’s taking a bold stab at looking behind that curtain. I’m real pleased that Lionsgate has the independence necessary to bring this provocative story to an American audience.”
Whether you love him or hate him, there is no question that George W. Bush is one of the most controversial public figures in recent memory. In an unprecedented undertaking, acclaimed director Oliver Stone is bringing the life of our 43rd President to the big screen as only he can. W takes viewers through Bush’s eventful life — his struggles and triumphs, how he found both his wife and his faith, and of course the critical days leading up to Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.