Perhaps setting the table for a tonic to a particularly contentious contemporary political period, upstart domestic distributor Electric Entertainment announced on Tuesday that they have acquired North American rights to Rob Reiner‘s presidential biopic LBJ. The film, which made its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival, stars Woody Harrelson (Wilson) as Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States.
Charting Johnson’s political career, the film picks up as the the one-time Senate Majority Leader attempted a go at the Presidency in 1960. He lost the Democratic race to John F. Kennedy, but ultimately became his running mate. Johnson’s fate (as did that of the nation) changed following the assassination of Kennedy, when he was formally named President of the United States. The film further follows his successful 1964 bid and passing of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The film also features Oscar nominated actress Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) as LBJ’s wife, Lady Bird Johnson, Jeffrey Donovan (Sicario) as John F. Kennedy, Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield) as Robert Kennedy and Oscar nominated actor Richard Jenkins (The Visit) as Johnson’s mentor Richard Russell. Joey Hartstone (The Good Neighbor) penned the screenplay.
The film earned muted, but mostly positive praise out of Toronto last fall where The Hollywood Reporter‘s Deborah Young called the film “absorbing but conventional” and Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman wrote, “Reiner has been around the block enough times to relish everything in Johnson that’s rudely incorrect.”
Electric is a new formed domestic distribution company – they recently released The Book of Love, which starred Jason Sudeikis and Maisie Williams. LBJ is expected to hit theaters sometime later this year.