It's no surprise that Apparition picked up all U.S. rights to Kristen Stewart vehicle The Runaways, which was fully financed by River Road and produced with Linson Entertainment. It's the first Apparition/River Road theatrical collaboration (Terrence Malick's Tree of Life, due in 2010, will be their second). The deal closed two weeks ago.
Here's the deal. As excited as all of Stewart's Twilight followers are at the prospect of seeing her as groundbreaking rocker Joan Jett--both Stewart-starrers The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys are the most scheduled and visited films on the Sundance site-- this is a low-budget indie movie made for less than $10 million. The music picture barely got finished in time to show fest programmers, and will be mixing right up to the delivery of a wet print at the festival, which opens January 21. The good news: Apparition chief Bob Berney can use the fest as a launch pad for the indie film's March 19 release. And yes, it looks like exec producer Joan Jett will do her best to perform there.
The Runaways goes back to the 70s when tough-as-nails Jett and her Southern California teenage bandmates (New Moon co-star Dakota Fanning plays sex-kitten Cherie Currie) were among the first hard-rocking all-girl bands. They actually flew to Tokyo to perform at age 15. Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) also stars as rock impresario Kim Fowley.
The R-rated movie is "definitely indie in style, filmed artfully and stylistically," says Berney. "It's edgy and rough, with female appeal for Stewart's audience." Adapted from Currie's autobiography by Floria Sigismondi, the film was also directed by the music-videomaker (David Bowie, The White Stripes and Christina Aguilera). The film is produced by John Linson, Art Linson and Bill Pohlad.