NEW YORK, NY—IFC Films has announced that it has acquired U.S. rights to THREE CHRISTS directed by Jon Avnet (FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, JUSTIFIED) and co-written by Eric Nazarian and Jon Avnet, based on Milton Rokeach’s groundbreaking and controversial experiment chronicled in his book, “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti.” The film stars Richard Gere (PRETTY WOMAN, DAYS OF HEAVEN, NORMAN), Peter Dinklage (GAME OF THRONES, THE STATION AGENT), Walton Goggins (JUSTIFIED, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, THE UNICORN), Bradley Whitford (THE WEST WING, GET OUT) Julianna Margulies (THE GOOD WIFE, ER), and Charlotte Hope (GAME OF THRONES, THE SPANISH PRINCESS). The film was produced by Daniel Levin, Molly Hassel, Jon Avnet and Dr. Aaron Stern. IFC Films will be releasing the film theatrically on January 3, 2020.
In 1959, psychiatrist Dr. Alan Stone (Richard Gere) arrives at a mental hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan armed with the radical belief that paranoid schizophrenic patients should be treated not with confinement and electroshock therapy but with empathy and understanding. As his first study, he takes on the particularly challenging case of three men—Joseph (Peter Dinklage), Leon (Walton Goggins) and Clyde (Bradley Whitford)—each of whom believes they are Jesus Christ. Hoping that by getting them together in the same room to confront their delusions he can break through to them, Dr. Stone begins a risky, unprecedented experiment that will push the boundaries of psychiatric medicine and leave everyone involved—including Dr. Stone himself—profoundly changed. Based on a remarkable true story, THREE CHRISTS is a fascinating and moving look at one man’s journey into the deepest mysteries of the human mind.
“We’re excited to be working with such an established filmmaker as Jon Avnet to bring this heartfelt and deeply relevant true-story about the road to find more humanity in mental health practices to audiences across the US,” said Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films.
We’re thrilled to be working with a stellar cast that truly brings this deeply felt and extraordinary true-story to life,” added Lisa Schwartz, Co-President of IFC Films.
Director Jon Avnet said, “Working with Richard, Peter, Walton, Bradley as well as Julianna Margulies, Jane Alexander, Kevin Pollak, Stephen Root and Charlotte Hope was a guilty pleasure. Their dedication and skill in bringing to the big screen this story of empathy and compassion to those suffering from mental illness was exhilarating and humbling.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco and Betsy Rodgers of IFC Films with CAA Media Finance and Marc H. Simon of Fox Rothschild LLP on behalf of the filmmakers.