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ACADEMY AWARD® WINNER REESE WITHERSPOON TO STAR IN NICK HORNBY’S ADAPTATION OF NY TIMES BEST-SELLER WILD

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Specialty Arm Acquires Worldwide Rights

LOS ANGELES, CA July 16, 2013 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired worldwide rights to Oscar nominated writer Nick Hornby’s (AN EDUCATION, High Fidelity) adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s NY Times #1 best-seller Wild, the book that re-launched Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. The film will star Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon (WALK THE LINE, MUD), and will be produced by Pacific Standard’s Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea (WARM BODIES, ALL GOOD THINGS) with River Road Entertainment’s Oscar nominated Bill Pohlad (THE TREE OF LIFE, 12 YEARS A SLAVE). The film is slated to begin production in the late fall once a director is in place and will be overseen by Fox Searchlight Pictures President of Production Claudia Lewis and SVP of Production David Greenbaum.

“We are so excited to be working with Fox Searchlight to bring WILD to the screen. It is an extraordinary company that continually strives to bring original, inspirational films to the marketplace. We are thrilled to collaborate with them on WILD,” says Witherspoon.

“We have long been huge fans of this visceral, inspirational and moving personal story with such a strong female perspective,” says Utley and Gilula.  “It has been a dream of the studio to work with Reese Witherspoon and we are thrilled to be partnered with her, Bruna Papandrea, Bill Pohlad and Nick Hornby.”

With the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed has lost all hope.  After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision.  With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone.  WILD powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.

The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight Pictures Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O'Brien with CAA and Management 360 along with Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller on behalf of Reese Witherspoon and Steve Hutensky on behalf of Bruna Papandrea.

Since its launch last year PACIFIC STANDARD has acquired the bestselling book GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn which David Fincher will direct this fall. They recently set up Mitch Larson’s fantasy book series PENNYROYAL’S BOOT CAMP at Summit/Lionsgate. Their development slate includes WHO INVITED HER at Dreamworks and THE ENGAGEMENTS at Fox 2000.

River Road Entertainment is one of the leading independent production companies known for developing, producing and financing distinguished feature films and documentaries that astonish, inspire, reveal and provoke, among them is Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, which was nominated for three Academy Awards® including Best Picture. The company recently produced Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave which Fox Searchlight releases on October 18, 2013. Currently, River Road is in production on Love & Mercy, a film centered on “Brian Wilson,” the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys. River Road founder and CEO Bill Pohlad directs Love & Mercy, which stars John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures.  It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox.  Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Twentieth Century Fox. 

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