Category: Movie news

‘The Hating Game,’ Starring ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Actor Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, Picked Up by Vertical for North America

Vertical Entertainment has signed a deal with Mister Smith Entertainment for North American distribution rights to romantic comedy “The Hating Game,” which stars “Pretty Little Liars” actor Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, who also appeared with her in “Fantasy Island.” Vertical is planning to give it a theatrical release later this year.

“The Hating Game,” which is based on the hit novel by Sally Thorne, tells the story of kind-hearted Lucy Hutton (Hale) and her cold, efficient nemesis Joshua Templeton (Stowell). Resolving to achieve professional success without compromising her ethics, Lucy embarks on a ruthless game of one-upmanship against Josh, a rivalry that is impossibly complicated by her growing attraction to him.

Peter Hutchings (“Then Came You”) directed Christina Mengert’s adaptation of the book.

“The Hating Game” novel was a 2018 USA Today Bestseller and was published in more than 20 countries. It is often identified as one of the key originators of the recent rom-com boom. It ranks seventh in Oprah Magazine’s 20 Best Romance Novels of All-Time.
Claude Dal Farra, Brice Dal Farra and Brian Keady of BCDF Pictures produced along with Convergent Media’s Santosh Govindaraja and Dan Reardon, which is also financing. David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment is handling worldwide sales and also co-financing the film.

The movie is in post-production having wrapped principal photography on Dec. 23 in upstate New York.

As well as “Pretty Little Liars,” Hale is known for the shows “Katy Keene,” “Life Sentence” and “Privileged.” Her film work includes starring roles in “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” “Truth or Dare,” “Scream 4” and “Fantasy Island.” She is currently shooting AMC’s crime series “Ragdoll” from Sid Gentle Films, the British production company behind “Killing Eve.”

Stowell starred in the critically acclaimed 2019 independent feature “Swallow,” opposite Haley Bennett, the film “Stratton,” opposite Dominic West and Gemma Chan, as well as Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” anthology TV series. He previously starred in the film “Fantasy Island” and the mini-series “Catch 22.” His film credits include “Whiplash,” “Bridge of Spies,” “12 Strong,” “Battle of the Sexes,” “Colossal,” and “Dolphin Tale” 1 & 2. His upcoming films include “The Long Home,” based on the acclaimed novel.

Vertical partner Peter Jarowey stated: “We’re excited to be partnering with BCDF Pictures once again to bring this funny and relatable romantic comedy to audiences later this year.”

Mister Smith’s David Garrett commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have found a home in Vertical for this much sought-after romcom. They are the perfect fit and will do us all proud.”

BCDF Pictures’ Claude Dal Farra added: “We are thrilled to be working with Peter, Josh, and the team on our latest romantic comedy.”

MSE is selling another BCDF Pictures adaptation of a NY Times bestseller, “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry,” starring Kunal Nayar, Hale and Christina Hendricks, and BCDF Pictures’ adaptation of the New York Times bestseller “The Language of Flowers,” starring Kiersey Clemons.


Lucy Hale Romantic Comedy ‘A Nice Girl Like You’ Picked Up By Vertical Entertainment

EXCLUSIVE: We can report that Capone distributor Vertical Entertainment has acquired the North American and UK distribution rights to A Nice Girl Like You starring Pretty Little Liars and Katy Keene star Lucy Hale. The romantic comedy, directed by brothers Chris and Nick Riedell and based on the Ayn Carrillo-Gailey 2007 self-help book Porn-o-logy, is set for a VOD and digital release on July 17.

Pic centers around violinist Lucy Neal (Hale) who is thrown for a loop when her boyfriend accuses her of being too judgmental and inhibited when it comes to sex. In an effort to prove him wrong, Lucy creates a wild to-do list that sends her on a whirlwind journey of self-discovery, friendship and new love.

Pic also stars Mindy Cohn (Facts Of Life), Jackie Cruz (Orange is the New Black, Good Girls), Leonidas Gulaptis (Gala & Godfrey), and Adhir Kalyan (Rules of Engagement). Andrea Marcellus adapted Carrillo-Gailey’s self-help book. The deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey and Josh Spector at Vertical.

“Bringing this film to life was a dream. More love. More laughter. Bring it on,” said producer, Jina Panebianco.

Panebianco and her CaliWood Pictures produced alongside Nicholas Bogner, and Melanie Greene of Affirmative Entertainment.