Gravitas Ventures and Roadside Attractions will partner on the U.S. distribution of the heartfelt and moving true story, The Friend, which recently premiered at TIFF. A Fall 2020 theatrical release is planned.

Based on Matthew Teague’s award-winning autobiographical essay published in Esquire Magazine, The Friend tells the extraordinary true story of Nicole (Dakota Johnson) and Matthew Teague (Casey Affleck). After receiving life-altering news, the couple find unexpected support from their best friend, Dane (Jason Segel), who puts his own life on hold and moves into their family home, bringing an impact much greater – and more profound – than anyone could have imagined.

The Friend stars Jason Segel (The End of the Tour, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Dakota Johnson (The Peanut Butter Falcon, 50 Shades of Grey) and Academy Award® winner Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea, The Old Man & the Gun). Additional cast includes five-time SAG Award® nominee Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), and two-time Tony Award® and Emmy Award® winner, Cherry Jones (The Handmaid’s Tale, Transparent) Isabella Kai, Violet McGraw and country music sensation Jake Owen.

The Friend is directed by acclaimed BAFTA nominee, Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish, Megan Leavey) from a script by Brad Ingelsby (The Way Back, Run All Night). The film is produced by Black Bear Pictures and Scott Free Productions. Producers are Academy Award® nominee Kevin Walsh (Manchester by the Sea), Michael Pruss (Earthquake Bird), Ryan Stowell (Thoroughbreds) and Academy Award® nominee Teddy Schwarzman (The Imitation Game). Executive Producers include acclaimed multi-hyphenate Ridley Scott, Ben Stillman, Michael Heimler, Ted Deiker, Ingelsby, and Matthew Teague, who consulted with Ingelsby on his screenplay adaptation.

The production was filmed on location in Fairhope, Alabama, where the Teague’s real life story took place.

“Gabriela and her outstanding cast have crafted a profoundly moving portrait of the emotional bonds that sustain us. We are thrilled to be partnered with Roadside Attractions in presenting The Friend to U.S. audiences this fall,” said Gravitas Ventures’ Vice President of Acquisitions Tony Piantedosi.

“Everyone knows the value of a great friend, yet it’s rare to see friendship dramatized in film,” said Roadside’s Howard Cohen & Eric d’Arbeloff. “To see these three great actors shine the light on what friendship means when the going gets tough adds up to something quite profound.”

Said the producers, “We are thrilled to partner with our friends at Gravitas and Roadside Attractions to present the special journey that is The Friend. This personal yet universal story, which the Teague family was generous enough to share, makes us laugh, cry, think, feel, and is a beautiful reminder of the compassion that exists in this world. We cannot wait for audiences everywhere to see it.”

Nolan Gallagher and Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal with Endeavor Content. STXinternational handled international sales and is releasing directly in the UK.

The Friend marks the second partnership for Gravitas Ventures and Roadside Attractions – the two companies will release Andy Tennant’s The Secret: Dare to Dream, starring Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas and inspired by Rhonda Byrne’s worldwide bestseller, on April 17, 2020.