Hesher Wows Sundance, Gets Acquired by Newmarket Films

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt  has come a long way since ‘90s favorites Angels in the Outfield and 10 Things I Hate About You, and he proves it in Hesher, a film that premiered last Friday at Sundance. Paste editor-in-chief Josh Jackson raved via e-mail, “Gordon-Levitt is unbelievably good. He plays the worst kind of degenerate who still somehow manages to be the redemptive catalyst.” Apparently Newmarket Films agreed with his and myriad other positive reviews in Park City; yesterday the company acquired the rights to the film for a seven-figure sum.

Hesher is a fine example of American independent film that fits perfectly with Newmarket’s tradition of distributing provocative, unique stories about iconic characters made by exciting new directors,” Nigel Sinclair and Chris Ball said in a statement. (Sinclair and Ball are co-chairmen of Exclusive Media Group, the company that owns Newmarket.)

The film—director Spencer Susser’s debut—chronicles the tale of an unlikely friendship between a tattooed metalhead named Hesher (Gordon-Levitt) and 13-year-old TJ (Devin Brochu) as Hesher helps the young teen cope with his mother’s recent death. Along with Gordon-Levitt, the cast includes Rainn Wilson and Natalie Portman (who also was a producer).

Watch Susser talk more about Hesher: