“Ben Is Back,” the drama starring Lucas Hedges and Julia Roberts, is getting an awards-season release on Dec. 7.
LD Entertainment, Lionsgate, and Roadside Attractions will partner on U.S. distribution for the film, which will be directed by Lucas Hedges’ real-life father, Peter Hedges.
Lucas Hedges, who was nominated for an Academy Award for “Manchester by the Sea,” will portray a charming yet troubled man who returns home to his unsuspecting family on Christmas Eve. His wary mother (Roberts) welcomes her beloved son’s return, but soon learns that he is still very much in harm’s way. Courtney B. Vance and Kathryn Newton also star.
Black Bear Pictures & Color Force produced the film with 30West and Black Bear fully financing the project. Producers are Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Teddy Schwarzman and Peter Hedges. Executive producers are Daniel Steinman, Micah Green, Dan Friedkin, Ben Stillman, Michael Heimler, Jane Evans, Mickey Liddell, and Pete Shilaimon.
The acquisition was announced Monday by Mickey Liddell of LD Entertainment, Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Jason Constantine, and Roadside Attractions co-founders Howard Cohen & Eric d’Arbeloff.
“Drawing from Peter Hedges’ incredibly moving script and direction, Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges deliver career-high performances,” said Cohen and d’Arbeloff. “In a role that is current and important, Julia Roberts is transformative as a mom fighting to save her son. And we are thrilled to reunite with Lucas Hedges after his Oscar-nominated turn in ‘Manchester By the Sea,’ he is unforgettable here as a young man trying to re-connect with his family for Christmas.”
Roadside Attractions, which is part owned by Lionsgate, will handle the release. LD Entertainment was represented by Liddell and Roadside Attractions was represented by Cohen. Julia Roberts and Peter Hedges are represented by CAA and Lucas Hedges is represented by CAA and Anonymous Content.
Focus Features has already set Dec. 7 as the opening for its awards contender “Mary, Queen of Scots,” starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.