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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  • COMEDY LEGEND BILLY CRYSTAL AND FRANK OZ JOIN "WINTER'S DISCONTENT" FOR ATLAS ENTERTAINMENT AND SIERRA PICTURES
  • SONY PICTURES PICKS UP DOMESTIC DISTRIBUTION AND KEY TERRITORIES WHILE SIERRA/AFFINITY SELLS REMAINDER OF WORLD MARKETS IN CANNES
  • Culver City, CA (May 13, 2013) - Billy Crystal is attached to star in Winter's Discontent as a widower who moves into a reputed active adult community in hopes of reinvigorating his sex life. Frank Oz will direct the comedy. Sony Pictures will distribute the film domestically and has also acquired rights in select international territories. Sierra Pictures will finance the film and Sierra/Affinity will handle additional foreign sales on the title in Cannes. The announcement was jointly made today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures, and Steve Bersch, president of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, Atlas' Charles Roven, and Sierra/Affinity's CEO Nick Meyer.

    Written by Paul Fruchbom, Winter's Discontent was featured on Hollywood's "The Black List," famously comprised of highly anticipated screenplays.

    Winter's Discontent will be produced by Atlas Entertainment with Charles Roven and Alex Gartner serving as producers. Executive producers are Nick Meyer, Marc Schaberg, Kelly McCormick and Jake Kurily.

    Commenting on the announcement, Roven said, "We're thrilled by the way this project is coming together. We are big believers in the humor and the emotion in this story and we think that Frank and Billy have a terrific take on the material that will connect with audiences everywhere."

    Sam Dickerman is overseeing the project for Columbia Pictures.

    The acquisition deals were negotiated by Columbia Pictures' President of Worldwide Business Affairs and Operations Andrew Gumpert and SPWA's Executive Vice President of Business Affairs Michael Helfand. Sierra's Marc Schaberg negotiated on behalf of the company with Atlas' Alex Gartner and Richard Thompson of Bloom, Hergott representing Atlas Entertainment.

    BILLY CRYSTAL most recently starred opposite Bette Midler in the box office hit Parental Guidance. He will next be heard reprising his Monsters Inc. voice role as Mike Wazowski in Monsters University, to be released on June 21. A comedy legend, Crystal earned three Golden Globe nominations for his roles in When Harry Met Sally…, City Slickers, and Mr. Saturday Night, has won six Emmy Awards, and has hosted the Academy Awards® nine times, most recently in 2012. His many other films include roles in Running Scared, The Princess Bride, Throw Momma from the Train, Forget Paris, Analyze This, and Analyze That, among many others. As a director, he was nominated for a DGA Award for his film 61*. Also a successful author, on September 10, 2013 Crystal will publish a humorous memoir on aging, entitled STILL FOOLIN' EM. Crystal is represented by CAA and managed by David Steinberg and Larry Brezner.

    FRANK OZ previously directed The Muppets Take Manhattan, Little Shop of Horrors, What About Bob?, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, House Sitter, Indian in the Cupboard, In & Out, Bowfinger, The Score, The Stepford Wives, and Death at a Funeral. Oz is represented by CAA.

    About Atlas Entertainment
    Atlas Entertainment, led by founder Charles Roven, is built on a stellar reputation of creative collaboration, innovation and fiscal responsibility. With an expertise in producing blockbuster films as well as critically acclaimed independent features, Atlas Entertainment's films have generated billions of dollars in revenues. Roven most recently reteamed with Christopher Nolan, serving as a producer on The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final installment of The Dark Knight Trilogy, and is also a producer on Man of Steel, the Superman reboot film directed by Zack Snyder set for release on June 14th, 2013. Atlas Entertainment recently wrapped production on David O. Russell's American Hustle starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence. Atlas Entertainment has produced such tentpole films as The Dark Knight and Get Smart, in addition to such indie successes as the 2008 British crime thriller The Bank Job. Additional past film credits include Batman Begins, The International, Idlewild, The Brother's Grimm, Season of the Witch, Three Kings, the worldwide box office hit Scooby-Doo, and its sequel Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Fallen, Oscar®-nominated Twelve Monkeys, and fantasy romance City of Angels.

    About Sierra/Affinity
    Sierra/Affinity is a leading independent film finance, production and foreign sales company, consistently delivering high-quality, commercially viable feature films for a global audience. Led by Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg, Sierra/Affinity capitalizes on the ever-evolving global film marketplace, representing sales of third-party films as well as its own productions designed to appeal to both the North American and global marketplaces. In addition to representing sales of third party films, the company acts as the exclusive sales agent for films developed and produced by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, OddLot Entertainment, Bold Films and Sierra Pictures and its partner, Incentive Filmed Entertainment. In October 2012, Sierra/Affinity leveraged its international film and distribution capabilities to enter into a partnership with leading global TV program distributor Engine Entertainment to jointly launch Sierra/Engine Television designed to globally distribute television productions.

    About Sony Pictures Entertainment
    Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION
    Steve Elzer
    Senior Vice President, Media Relations
    Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
    (310) 244-7142
    steve_elzer@spe.sony.com