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Virgil Films announced that it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to I AM CHRIS FARLEY, the definitive biographical film about the late comedy star featuring co-stars and colleagues such as Christina Applegate, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Molly Shannon, David Spade, and many others. The new film, directed by Brent Hodge and Derik Murray, will open in key markets nationwide in the later part of summer 2015 and will debut on Spike Monday, August 10 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT to be followed by Video-On-Demand availability.
The acquisition arrangement was negotiated by Joe Amodei, CEO and President of Virgil Films, and Derik Murray, Founder and CEO of Network Entertainment.
The film, from the directors of A Brony Tale, I Am Evel Knievel and the upcoming Johnny Cash – American Rebel, tells Chris Farley’s story, from his early days in Madison, Wisconsin, and at Marquette University, through his work at the legendary club Second City to his rapid rise to the top of the comedy world on “Saturday Night Live” and in hit films like Tommy Boy and Black Sheep.
Sharing insights into the beloved funnyman are such co-stars and colleagues as Christina Applegate, Tom Arnold, Dan Aykroyd, Bo Derek, Pat Finn, Jon Lovitz, Lorne Michaels, Jay Mohr, Mike Myers, Bob Odenkirk, Bob Saget, Adam Sandler, Will Sasso, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Brian Stack and Fred Wolf. The filmmakers also speak to Farley’s four siblings, including his brother Kevin, a comedian and actor, and his brother Tom Jr., who wrote the biography “The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts.”
Co-director and producer Derik Murray said: “Chris Farley’s talent knew no bounds. A fearless performer who sought only to please an audience, he left behind a remarkable body of work, and we are proud to present his story with the support of an iconic cast that knew and loved Chris.”
Virgil Films’ Joe Amodei added I AM CHRIS FARLEY “reveals the real man behind the comic genius – and poignantly reminds us of the great work that went left undone.”
With the full cooperation and participation of the Farley family, I AM CHRIS FARLEY showcases the performer’s most memorable characters and skits from television and film, paired with iconic photographs, home movies, family snapshots and personal artifacts, to fully round out the story of this comedy legend – a bear of a man who nevertheless had remarkable grace and physicality. Clips from Farley’s most memorable performances fill the documentary, from his breathtaking Chippendales audition alongside Patrick Swayze, to his comically ill-fated salesman in Tommy Boy, to his diatribes as Matt Foley, the motivational speaker who “lives in a van down by the river!”
Farley lived his life full speed and committed to make everyone around him laugh out loud, and I Am Chris Farley will tell his hilarious, touching and wildly entertaining story for the first time ever.
Executive produced by Paul Gertz (I Am Steve McQueen, I Am Bruce Lee), Kent Wingerak (I Am Steve McQueen, I Am Bruce Lee) and Robert Pirooz (I Am Steve McQueen, I Am Evel Knievel), I AM CHRIS FARLEY is “an amazing tribute to a comedy legend” (Variety) and “an intimate look inside the life of one of the best, gone too soon” (Los Angeles Times).
About Network Entertainment – Network Entertainment develops, finances, produces and distributes unscripted series, documentaries, docudramas, films and online specials. Founder and CEO Derik Murray created and produced the primetime series Making the Cut, the Academy Award shortlisted feature documentary Facing Ali and I Am Bruce Lee. President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Gertz was the executive producer and showrunner of Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict and the producer of several high-budget animated films for major studios, including 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Mr. Gertz has also served as a senior-level executive for Lucasfilm and Hanna-Barbera. Network’s recent feature documentaries I Am Steve McQueen, featuring Gary Oldman, Pierce Brosnan, Ali MacGraw, Marisa Miller, and narrated by Robert Downey Jr., and I Am Evel Knievel, featuring Matthew McConaughey, Kid Rock, Guy Fieri, Michelle Rodriguez and Robbie Maddison had their U.S. broadcast premieres in 2014, and are distributed internationally by Fremantle Media. Feature documentaries currently in production include Johnny Cash – American Rebel, which will be released in 2015.
About Virgil Films – Virgil Films & Entertainment was founded in 2003 by Joe Amodei to acquire, market, and distribute DVD, TV and Digital product in the theatrical feature film, documentaries, special interest and sports categories. The company has built partnerships with OWN, Sundance Channel Home Entertainment, National Geographic Cinema Ventures, Pureflix Entertainment, MLB Productions, Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets and other high-profile entertainment brands since their inception. Releases from Virgil Films & Entertainment include the Oscar-nominated documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me; the award-winning documentary Miss Representation; the critically acclaimed, timeless and best-selling Forks Over Knives; and the Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo and its sequel Korengal. They have also released the compelling The House I Live In, A Brony Tale, Legends of the Knight and others. Follow them on twitter: @virgilfilms | www.VirgilFilmsEnt.com.