Ethan and Maya Hawke Film ‘Wildcat’ Sells to Oscilloscope

Ethan and Maya Hawke’s Flannery O’Connor biopic “Wildcat” has found a distributor.

Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights to the film and plans to release it theatrically in the spring.

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Ethan Hawke directed “Wildcat,” which stars his daughter Maya as the Southern gothic writer of works like “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” It had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and also played at Toronto Film Festival.

“I can’t help but feel a strange thrill imagining the pleasure Ms. O’Connor would have at knowing that a company dedicated to championing art — Oscilloscope — is releasing a film inspired by her life and work,” Ethan Hawke said in a statement. “We have found the perfect partners and can’t wait to release this film.”

Set in 1950, “Wildcat” takes a kaleidoscopic look at the life and work of a young Flannery O’Connor as she battles lupus and struggles to publish her first novel. In the movie, O’Connor, a deeply religious Catholic, asks herself questions like, “Can scandalous art still serve God? Does suffering precede all greatness? Can illness be a blessing?” Laura Linney, Rafael Casal, Cooper Hoffman and Steve Zahn round out the cast.

In a September cover story, Ethan and Maya Hawke spoke to Variety about working together as a father-daughter duo and the challenges of making a movie about a person “whose imagination is more interesting than her life experiences.”

Maya Hawke also joked about a short-lived attempt to call her father by his first name to seem professional to her co-stars. “And then I realized it was actually more distracting to people,” she said. “They’d be like, ‘Why are you doing that?’ So I mostly called him ‘Dad.’”

Oscilloscope executive Dan Berger called the film “an inventive and unique look at an artist that was herself inventive and unique.”

“It’s very exciting to me that we’ll get to bring ‘Wildcat’ to audiences,” he said in a statement. “Ethan and Shelby Gaines’s script embraces non-conventional storytelling, not being content with a typical biopic structure, instead blending fact, fiction, and everything in between, to give us a true portrait of a complicated human rendered more real as a result. The direction is deft and thrilling, and the performances are wonderful across the board, anchored by a true tour de force from Maya Hawke.”

The film was produced by Renovo Media Group, Good Country Pictures and Under the Influence Productions. UTA Independent Film Group and CAA Media Finance represent the film for worldwide distribution rights and negotiated the deal on behalf of the film team.

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