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Open Road Acquires Barry Levinson's All-Star 'Rock the Kasbah'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 6, 2014 at 7:32PM

Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to independently-financed original comedy "Rock the Kasbah," starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Danny McBride, Shia LaBeouf and Zooey Deschanel. The film is written by Mitch Glazer and directed by Barry Levinson and will be selling at the European FIlm Market in Berlin.
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Bruce Willis and Bill Murray at Cannes
Bruce Willis and Bill Murray at Cannes

Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to independently-financed original comedy "Rock the Kasbah," starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Danny McBride, Shia LaBeouf and Zooey Deschanel. The film is written by Mitch Glazer and directed by Barry Levinson. Financed by QED Inernational and Venture Forth, the film is produced by Bill Block, Jacob Pechenik, Shangri-La Entertainment’s Steve Bing and Mitch Glazer. Brian Grazer and Tom Freston are Executive Producers. Production will start in June 2014.

"Rock the Kasbah" tells the story of Richie Vance, a has-been rock manager (Murray) who takes his last remaining client (Willis) on a USO tour of Afghanistan. When Richie finds himself in Kabul, abandoned, penniless and without his passport, he discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice and manages her through Afghanistan's version of "American Idol", the wildly popular "Afghan Star."

QED is representing the film at the European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival, along with Oren Moverman's "Time Out of Mind," starring Richard Gere; David Ayer's "Fury," starring BradPitt, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena and Logan Lerman; and "The Family Fang," directed by and starring Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman.

Open Road recently released "The Nut Job," which opened to over $25 million at the box office as the highest ever opening for an independent animated film. Upcoming releases include: "Sabotage" (3/28/14) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joe Manganiello, Sam Worthington, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, Max Martini, Josh Holloway, Olivia Williams, and Mireille Enos; "A Haunted House 2" (4/18/14) starring Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Gabriel Iglesias, Affion Crockett and Cedric The Entertainer; "Chef" (5/9/14) written by, directed by and starring Jon Favreau along with Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey, Jr.; and Eli Roth’s "The Green Inferno" (9/5/14).



This article is related to: Open Road Films, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Berlin International Film Festival


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.