The film had all the hallmarks of a potentially strong pic with a script by real-life paraplegic and star of the film Christopher Thornton; a stellar supporting cast featuring Ruffalo, Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis, Noah Emmerich, John Carroll Lynch and Laura Linney; musical contributions by The Besnard Lakes, Shiny Toy Guns and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta fame; and direction by an intelligent, well-spoken thespian going behind the camera for the first time. Suffice to say, we were fairly excited for it.
But if reviews from Sundance are to be trusted what plays out on screen, according to one review, "suffers from consistent tonal problems," is "unable to draw much blood in its attacks on the inanity of the music business or on people's blind devotion to self-proclaimed prophets" and boasts a script that "lacks the sophistication necessary for such lofty goals [in] merging black comedy with sincere questions about the importance of faith."
Either way, we're still keen to see what Ruffalo has created here which looks closer to happening, with Maya acquiring North American distribution rights in a seven-figure deal. They now plan to release the film next spring with the deal also seeing One Way Out Media's Tom Ortenberg come on board as marketing consultant, joining producers Scott Prisand, Matt Weaver, Andrea Sperling, Ruffalo himself and Thornton.
“This film has been a very personal project for me," Ruffalo said in the announcement, "And I know Maya will be a wonderful partner to have in our corner.”
Ruffalo will soon be gearing up to play Bruce Banner in Joss Whedon's "The Avengers" but on the writing and directing front, he has his previously discussed gestating script that follows "an ex-porn star, ex-street poet, ex-actor, ex-junkie" and his relationship with his child in Hollywood. "I learned a lot making ['Sympathy']," Ruffalo admitted at the time. "I made every mistake you can possibly make."