Showtime Networks and indie distributor Strand Releasing are teaming to roll out writer-director Michael Burke's drama The Mudge Boy theatrically in April. The move marks the second collaboration between the companies, which also released Arthur Penn's Inside, starring Sir Nigel Hawthorne. The deal is part of the cable network's Showtime Independent Films, which was launched this year to "demonstrate the network's commitment to working with established specialty producers and directors to fully finance and produce low-budget films targeted for theatrical premiere," the company said. SIF's Baadasssss! was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics this year and is screening at Sundance.
Mudge stars Emile Hirsch. The film, produced through First Cold Press Productions, was produced by Elizabeth W. Alexander, Alison Benson, and Randy Ostrow and executive-produced by Stanley Tucci. It began as a project in the Sundance Institute Filmmaker's Lab. "Strand Releasing has been tracing this project since inception, from its short-film version, Fishbelly White, to the development of the screenplay at the Sundance [lab]," Strand's out copresident Marcus Hu said in a statement. Added Robert Greenblatt, Showtime Networks' out president of entertainment: "Showtime is pleased to be working with Strand again to bring this unique and wonderful film to a theatrical audience."