EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment North American rights have been acquired for the MPI Original Film Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Gamestarring BAFTA-nominated and Tony Award-nominated West Side Story breakout Mike Faist And Teen Wolf‘s Crystal Reed, and slapping it for a date-and-time release on March 17, 20,23.
Roger Sharpe (Faist), the movie’s star, is the true story behind it. GQ journalist and real-life pinball wizard who, in 1976, helped overturn New York City’s 35-year ban on pinball.
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Sharpe, a solitary writer with a great mustache, finds comfort and security in what he knows: pinball. After a police raid destroys all the machines he finds in 1970s New York City he discovers that the game was illegal in the state. Roger reluctantly joins the Music and Amusement Association in an effort to repeal the ban. He also falls for Ellen (Reed), a single mother and artist. Roger’s path to save pinball teaches him what it means to take a chance — and that commitment is the most rewarding gamble of all.
Written and directed by Austin & Meredith Bragg — who collectively go by The Bragg Brothers — Pinball Also stars Dennis BoutsikarisBetter Call Saul), Christopher Convery (Prisoner’s Daughter), Damian Young (Ozark) and Mike Doyle (New Amsterdam). The award-winning film premiering at this year’s Hamptons Film Festival was produced by Summer Crockett Moore, Tony Glazer, Stacey Parks, Lana Link and Rob Pfaltzgraff, with Sharpe and Nick Reid serving as executive producers.
“MPI Original Films is pleased to partner with Vertical to bring this uplifting and charming story to theaters and homes across the U.S.,” said Pfaltzgraff. “With an exceptional cast and the brilliant writer/directors The Bragg Brothers, Pinball‘s message about taking chances in life will resonate with audiences, even if they don’t know much about the game or its quirky history.”
“We are thrilled to bring this wonderfully crafted and exceptionally well-acted film to audiences this spring,” added Vertical’s SVP of Acquisitions Tony Piantedosi. “Visually capturing the look and feel of 1970’s New York City, this unique story is so engaging and different, it will bring a smile to your face and warm your heart allowing you to feel everyone has a reset button in life – no quarters needed.”
Current and upcoming releases for the indie distributor Vertical Entertainment, founded in 2012, include Michael Jacobs’ Maybe I Will starring Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, William H. Macy, Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey; Darren Le Gallo’s Sam & Kate starring Dustin Hoffman and Sissy Spacek; Hans Canosa’s The Storied Lives of A.J. FikryBased on Gabrielle Zevin’s New York Times bestseller; the 2022 SXSW thriller Gone in the Night, directed by Eli Horowitz and starring Winona Ryder and John Gallagher Jr.; John Patton Ford’s Sundance 2022 thriller Emily the Criminal starring Aubrey Plaza, which this year is nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards including Outstanding Lead Performance; Krystin Ver Linden’s Sundance 2022 pic Alice starring Keke Palmer, Common, Gaius Charles and Jonny Lee Miller; and John Michael McDonagh’s The Forgiven This film starred Ralph Fiennes, Jessica Chastain, and Matt Smith. It premiered in Tribeca 2022.
The deal was negotiated by Piantedosi Pinball Vertical for the production, Pfaltzgraff as an agent.
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