Screen Media Goes All-In on Russell Crowe’s Poker Face

NEW YORK, N.Y.

Screen Media, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (Nasdaq: CSSE) company, announced today the acquisition of all North American rights to the thriller Poker Face from Arclight Films. Directed by and starring Academy Award® Winner Russell Crowe, the film also stars Liam Hemsworth, RZA and Elsa Pataky, and is written by Stephen M. Coates and Crowe. Screen Media is planning a theatrical release on November 16, 2022, followed by a digital release on November 22, 2022.

 

Poker Face is produced by Gary Hamilton (Arclight Films) and Keith Rodger (Fear of God Films), along with Arclight Films’ Ying Ye and Ryan Hamilton, actor/producer Addam Bramich, Catchlight Studios’ Jeanette Volturno and Jason Clark, as well as Matt Williams. Arclight Films’ Brian Beckmann, Screen Media’s Seth Needle and Conor McAdam, David Nagleberg, Walter Josten, Joe Thomas, Mikael Borglund, Romilda De Luca, Elizabeth Zavoyskiy, Andrew Kotliar, Jay Douglas and Alceon Entertainment Partners are executive producing, alongside Julia Stuart and Laura Grange from Sky.

  

Set in the world of high stakes poker, Crowe stars as tech billionaire and gambler Jake Foley who gives his best friends a night they'll never forget, a chance to win more money than they've ever dreamed of. But to play, they'll have to give up the one thing they spend their lives trying to keep…their secrets. As the game unfolds, the friends will discover what is really at stake. 

 

“It’s exciting to have the top-notch team at Screen Media come on board to distribute Poker Face and introduce this incredible movie to audiences in the U.S. Russell has created a phenomenal film and is joined on screen by a brilliant ensemble cast – we are so proud to be part of this project,” said Arclight Films chairman Gary Hamilton. 

 

“We’re thrilled to be working with Russell and the Arclight team on this thrill-ride of a movie,” said David Fannon, chief acquisitions and distribution officer at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “We’ve been big fans of the story since we first read it years ago, and Russell has crafted that into the entertaining adventure that we know audiences will love experiencing soon.”

Academy Award® Winner Russell Crowe made his feature film directorial debut in 2014 with The Water Diviner, in which he also starred. He can currently be seen in Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder and his upcoming films include The Greatest Beer Run Ever and Kraven the Hunter. He is currently shooting The Pope’s Exorcist. 

 

Liam Hemsworth, best known for The Hunger Games franchise is currently filming Lonely Planet with Laura Dern.

 

Spanish actress, Elsa Pataky, who is best known for her role as Elena Neves in The Fast and the Furious franchise and Netflix’s high octane action thriller Interceptor, will be seen next as Gabrielle in Sony’s Carmen, a modern-day reimagining of the classical opera ‘Carmen.’

 

RZA, a member of the Grammy nominated Wu-Tang Clan, has acted opposite Denzel Washington and Josh Brolin in American Gangster, Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu in Universal Pictures’ The Man with the Iron

Fists, and Jude Law and Forest Whitaker in Universal Studios’ Repo Men. He also lends his distinctive voice to Universal Pictures’ Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Crowe is represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Goodman Genow Schenkman Smelkinson & Christopher, LLP (GGSSC); Hemsworth is represented by WME Entertainment; RZA is represented by CAA and Pataky is represented by CAA and Morrissey Management.

 

The deal was negotiated by Seth Needle, executive vice president of Global Acquisitions and Co-Productions, on behalf of Screen Media with Arclight Films, who is handling worldwide sales to Poker Face.

 

Screen Media recently acquired Renny Harlin’s action film The Bricklayer starring Aaron Eckhart and Nina Dobrev from Millennium Films, as well as The Locksmith starring Ryan Phillippe, Kate Bosworth, and Ving Rhames. Additional recent acquisitions include worldwide rights to the Bella Thorne-led thriller Saint Clare also starring Ryan Phillippe and Rebecca DeMornay, Kevin Lewis’ follow-up to Willy’s Wonderland, The Accursed starring Alexis Knapp and Mena Suvari and The Enforcer starring Antonio Banderas and Kate Bosworth. Recent film releases include The Immaculate Room starring Emile Hirsch and Kate Bosworth and Ashley Greene Khoury, The Nan Movie starring Catherine Tate, Code Name Banshee starring Antonio Banderas, Jaime King and Tommy Flanagan, The Good Neighbor starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and the psychological horror film Monstrous starring Christina Ricci. 

 

ABOUT SCREEN MEDIA VENTURES LLC 

Screen Media Ventures, LLC, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (Nasdaq: CSSE) company, is a leading independent distributor of feature films, television series and documentaries in North America and supplies high-quality content to the global market through its foreign sales division. The company is the main supplier of content to the Crackle Plus streaming services, as well as to third-party streaming platforms. With its recent acquisitions of 1091 Pictures and the Sonar Entertainment library assets, Screen Media continues to expand its library of nearly 7,000 television series and motion pictures. Screen Media’s diverse slate of titles includes critically acclaimed and audience favorites: The Outpost starring Scott Eastwood, Willy’s Wonderland starring Academy Award® Winner Nicolas Cage, groundbreaking documentaries such as The Phenomenon and Grammy-Award Winner Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, and indie film hits including Academy Award® Winner Taika Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. For more information, visit: www.screenmedia.net  

 

ABOUT ARCLIGHT FILMS

For more information about Arclight Films, please visit: www.arclightfilms.com

ABOUT CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ENTERTAINMENT

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) operates video-on-demand streaming services (VOD). The company owns Crackle Plus, which owns and operates a variety of ad-supported VOD streaming services including Crackle, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Popcornflix. The company also acquires and distributes video content through its Screen Media and 1091 Pictures subsidiaries and produces original video content through the Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group. The company recently acquired Redbox which operates a rapidly growing digital streaming service that provides both ad-supported (AVOD) and paid movies from Hollywood studios and hundreds of content partners, as well as over 145 channels of free ad-supported streaming television (FAST). Redbox also operates its popular kiosks across the US at thousands of retail locations – giving consumers affordable access to the latest in entertainment. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, which publishes the famous book series and produces super-premium pet food under the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand name.

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of management and are not predictions of actual performance. Such assumptions involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to our core strategy, operating income and margin, seasonality, liquidity, including cash flows from operations, available funds, and access to financing sources, free cash flows, revenues, net income, profitability, stock price volatility, future regulatory changes, price changes, the ability of the Company’s content offerings to achieve market acceptance, the Company’s success in retaining or recruiting officers, key employees, or directors, the ability to protect intellectual property, the ability to complete strategic acquisitions, the ability to manage growth and integrate acquired operations, the ability to pay dividends, regulatory or operational risks, and general market conditions impacting demand for the Company’s services. For a more complete description of these and other risks and uncertainties, please refer the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on March 31, 2022, and, with respect to the Company’s recent acquisition of Redbox Entertainment, Inc. (“Redbox”), the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-4 declared effective by the SEC on July 15, 2022. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Information regarding the acquisition of Redbox and related transactions is qualified by reference to the Company’s Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 11, 2022 (as amended May 12, 2022), June 6, 2022, and August 12, 2022, and all exhibits filed with respect to such reports and the aforementioned registration statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.

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