Roadside Attractions has nabbed North American rights to the drama Dreamin’ Wild, telling the true story of musician brothers Donnie and Joe Emerson, slating it for release in theaters nationwide on August 4th.
The film starring Academy Award winner Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Noah Jupe (Honey Boy) and Emmy and Golden Globe nom Zooey Deschanel (500 Days of Summer) puts Oscar- and Emmy-nominated writer-director Bill Pohlad back in business with Roadside, which with Lionsgate released his last acclaimed film Love & Mercy on Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson.
Its central question is, what if a childhood dream suddenly came true — but 30 years later? That’s what happened to singer-songwriter Donnie Emerson and his family when the album he and his brother recorded as teens was rediscovered after 30 years of obscurity and was suddenly hailed by music critics as a lost masterpiece. While the album’s rediscovery brings hopes of second chances, it also brings long-buried emotions as Donnie, his wife Nancy, brother Joe and father Don Sr. come to terms with the past and their newly found fame.
As with Love & Mercy, Pohlad uses two different actors to explore real-life characters in different time periods, with Affleck and Jupe playing older and younger versions of Donnie Emerson. Walton Goggins and Jack Dylan Grazer take on Joe, with Beau Bridges doing double duty as the family patriarch, and Deschanel playing Donnie’s wife Nancy.
The film featuring original music by Donnie Emerson world premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival before going on to play others including TIFF. It’s a River Road Entertainment, Innisfree Pictures, Zurich Avenue production, which Zurich co-financed alongside River Road. Producers are Academy Award winner Jim Burke (Green Book), River Road’s Pohlad (Love & Mercy, The Tree of Life) and Kim Roth (Mudbound), and Zurich Avenue’s Viviana Vezzani (Moonfall) and Karl Spoerri (The Old Man & the Gun). Affleck exec produced with River Road’s Emmy-nominated Christa Workman (David Byrne’s American Utopia), Dan Clifton (Brightburn), Steven Snyder (Opening Night, Split Glass) and Tobias Gutzwiller (Moonfall).
“I’m honored to be back with Roadside Attractions for my next film since Love & Mercy,” said Pohlad. “I’m hoping that audiences will connect with this family’s heart-felt story as much as with Donnie’s extraordinary music.”