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Vertical Entertainment Acquires ‘The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry’ Film Starring Kunal Nayyar, Lucy Hale, Christina Hendricks & More

Deadline
Deadline
 2022-05-16
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EXCLUSIVE : Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights to Hans Canosa ’s film, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry , from international sales agent Mister Smith Entertainment. Currently in post-production, the film is slated for release in theaters this fall.

The dramedy is based on Gabrielle Zevin’s bestseller of the same name, which has sold over five million copies worldwide. It tells the story of bookstore owner A.J. Fikry ( Kunal Nayyar ), who is struggling to navigate a life that is far from what he expected it to be, as he is feeling left behind by a rapidly evolving world. After his wife’s death in a tragic accident, Fikry’s store hits a financial low point, with sales at abysmal levels. Driven to drinking his sorrows away, Fikry hits rock bottom when his most prized possession, a series of Edgar Allen Poe poems, are stolen. But when a mysterious package arrives, Fikry discovers not all is lost and his chances for starting anew are greater than he ever imagined. Lucy Hale ( The Hating Game ), Christina Hendricks ( Good Girls ), Scott Foley ( Scandal ) and David Arquette ( Scream franchise) also star.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry marks the latest collaboration between Vertical and TPC, as part of their continuing production lending venture. Zevin adapted the screenplay for the film and produced alongside Canosa, Claude Dal Farra ( The Hating Game ), Brian Keady and Kelsey Law. Nayyar, Hale, Hendricks and Brice Dal Farra exec produced alongside Vertical’s Peter Jarowey, Rich Goldberg, Mitch Budin, and TPC’s David Gendron, as well as Ali Jazayeri, Viviana Zarragoitia and John Bails. Ivy Chu and Vertical’s Kristin Harris served as associate producers, with Arlie Day and Mike Page as co-producers.

“We are thrilled to be working with Hans and Gabrielle on this fantastic adaptation of her bestselling novel,” said Claude Del Farra. “The performances are outstanding, and we are excited for the world to discover the movie.”

“We recently worked with Lucy, Claude, and Mister Smith Entertainment on The Hating Game and look forward to building on that great success with The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry ,” said Vertical Entertainment Partner, Peter Jarowey. “We are confident that Claude and the production team will deliver an exceptional film audiences will embrace when they experience it this fall.”

“We are delighted be working on this —our third film—with Vertical,” added Mister Smith Entertainment’s CEO, David Garrett. “They have proven themselves to be great partners.”

Vertical Entertainment is a global independent distributor, which was founded in 2012. Other upcoming releases from the company include Eli Horowitz SXSW 2022 thriller The Cow , starring Winona Ryder and John Gallagher Jr.; John Patton Ford’s Sundance 2022 pic Emily the Criminal , starring Aubrey Plaza and Theo Rossi; and Krystin Ver Linden’s Sundance drama Alice , starring Keke Palmer, Common, Gaius Charles and Jonny Lee Miller. Jarowey negotiated the deal for The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry on behalf of Vertical Entertainment, with Mister Smith Entertainment’s Garrett on behalf of the filmmakers.

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