Roadside Attractions Buys Thomas Haden Church, Rudy Pankow Comedy ‘Accidental Texan

Roadside Attractions has acquired North American rights to “Accidental Texan,” a comedy about a Harvard grad and actor stranded in the “Lone Star State” where he stumbles into the role of lifetime. The film, which stars Thomas Haden Church and Rudy Pankow, will open in theaters on March 8, 2024.

According to the official plot description, “Accidental Texan” kicks off when Erwin (Pankow), a recent Ivy League student, flames out of his first professional acting gig when he forgets to turn off his phone and triggers an explosive nightmare on set. With his career and cell phone in tatters, he flees the New Orleans movie set, only to have his car break down deep in the heart of Texas oil country. Seeking refuge and some possible phone service in a local diner, he meets Faye (Carrie-Anne Moss), a waitress who takes pity on him and offers up the phone book to find a local mechanic. Without enough money to fix his car, Erwin accepts an offer from Merle, a local oil driller (Haden Church) only to find out he too is nearly bankrupt and cannot pay his bills. With both men in desperate straits, Merle realizes their only hope may be Erwin’s acting talent.

”Thomas Haden Church has created so many indelible characters, we are thrilled to present him along with this stellar cast in a comedy that proves Texas indeed has a deep heart,” Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff, co-presidents of Roadside Attractions, said in a statement.

Haden Church is an Oscar-nominated actor whose credits include “Sideways,” “Wings” and the “Spider-Man” films. Pankow appeared in “Outer Banks” and “Uncharted.” Moss is best-known for her work in the “Matrix” franchise. Bruce Dern, the Oscar-nominated star of “Nebraska,” “Coming Home” and “The Hateful Eight,” co-stars in the movie, which is based on the novel “Chocolate Lizards” by Cole Thompson.

“I am very excited to share our uplifting film with audiences and that they take a fun ride, but that they also fill their hearts with hope in miracles in their everyday lives,” Julie B. Denny, the film’s writer and producer, said in a statement.

Director Mark Bristol added: “I was determined to make a film that explores the universal themes of community, trust, and forgiveness framed by Texas’ iconic landscapes. I believe the world needs more feel-good movies that champion the beauty in human nature and ‘Accidental Texan’ delivers just that.”

“Accidental Texan” is also produced by Melissa Kirkendall, Koen Wooten and Mark Bristol. Co-producers are David Denney and Haden Church. The film was executive produced by Michael B. Denny.

The acquisition was negotiated by Roadside Attractions’ Cohen and Angel An, the company’s vice president of acquisitions and co-productions. Tyler Konney of Taylor & Dodge represented the filmmakers in the talks.