A much-hyped made-in-Spokane movie may actually make it to the big screen yet.
Distribution rights to “Knights of Badassdom,” filmed mostly at Riverside State Park in 2010, were bought last week by a Toronto-based company with an established track record of getting its movies into theaters. Most who worked on the film were from the Spokane area, including a large cast of extras.
Expectations for the movie were high after the trailer was shown at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con. It has since been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube. But budget problems and an internal dispute between director Joe Lynch and the California production company that owned the movie blocked the film’s initial release.
Last week, however, IndieVest Pictures, the startup film company that owned the rights to “Knights of Badassdom,” sold the North American rights of the film to Entertainment One. The Toronto-based company distributed more than 200 films last year, grossing $376 million at the box office, according to its annual report.
“We’re just very pleased for the fans that they’re going to be able to see this,” said Wade Bradley, the interim president of IndieVest. “The fans are going to love it.”
The comedy thriller is about a group of role-playing war gamers known as LARPers (live action role-playing game enthusiasts), who accidentally summon a demon who wreaks havoc among the pretend armies from centuries past. It stars Peter Dinklage of “Game of Thrones,” Danny Pudi of “Community” and Summer Glau of “Serenity.”
Attempts made to reach an Entertainment One representative were unsuccessful.
IndieVest hired North by Northwest Productions in Spokane to make the movie.
Rich Cowan, a partner in North by Northwest, said although Entertainment One has the kind of resources that could bode well for the film, it’s hard to predict the future of “Badassdom.”
Entertainment One has not said how extensive the film’s theatrical release will be.
“The big variable is how many screens,” Cowan said, referring to the number of theaters and markets to which the film will be distributed.
Cowan said although a few recent Spokane films have had small theatrical releases, many don’t make it to the big screen. That’s in part because North by Northwest looks for lower-budget films that mostly use local talent, he said, and movies can still be financially successful without a theatrical release.
Meanwhile, North by Northwest is preparing to shoot another film in a few weeks.
“We don’t think very much about the movie because it was about four or five movies ago,” Cowan said of “Badassdom.”