Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   September 24, 2020

VARIETYIFC Films has nabbed Chad Hartigan’s “Little Fish,” a love story set in a post-pandemic world that will have an eerie resonance when viewed in light of the coronavirus crisis.

The deal is for North American rights. IFC, which has remained active during COVID-19, releasing films such as “The Nest” and “The Trip to Greece,” will debut the picture on Feb. 5, 2021. “Little Fish” stars Olivia Cooke (“Ready Player One”), Jack O’Connell (“Unbroken”), Raúl Castillo (HBO’s “Looking”), and French singer-songwriter Soko. “Little Fish” boasts a screenplay by Mattson Tomlin based on a short story by Aja Gabel.

According to the official log line, “Little Fish” unfolds in a world where a pandemic has broken out. The disease causes its victims to lose their memories. Newlyweds Emma (Cooke) and Jude (O’Connell) have to grapple with this painful new reality. After Jude contracts the disease, the young couple struggles to hold onto the memory of their romance.

“Chad Hartigan’s prescient and deeply felt love story blew us away on every level,” said Arianna Bocco, EVP of acquisitions and productions at IFC Films. “The stellar performances and gorgeous cinematography complement Chad’s unique and beautiful vision. This is the love story for this moment – bring tissues.”

Hartigan is best known for directing “This is Martin Bonner,” which won Best of NEXT Audience Award as well as the John Cassavetes Award at the Film independent Spirit Awards. He also directed “Morris From America,” which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. “Little Fish” was expected to debut at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. However, the annual film gathering was upended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, Hartigan said he was happy to land at an indie distributor like IFC, citing the company’s penchant for backing unconventional films.

“’From ‘Me and You and Everyone We Know’ to ‘Hunger,’ IFC has released countless films that have inspired and shaped me over the years and as the challenges of 2020 have proven again, they remain one of the most adept and adaptable distribution companies in the business,” he said. “I can think of no better partner to bring this pandemic love story to audiences.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Bocco for IFC with CAA Media Finance representing the filmmakers. Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films has rights to the film outside of the U.S.

Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   March 08, 2019

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER Olivia Cooke and Jack O’Connell are set to star in Little Fish, a high-concept, sci-fi love story that will be directed by Chad Hartigan, the filmmaker behind the award-winning Sundance movies Morris From America and This Is Martin Bonner.

Tango Entertainment and Black Bear are financing the feature project, which comes with a bevy of producers: Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Rian Cahill of Automatik; Tim Headington and Lia Buman of Tango; Chris Ferguson of Oddfellows Entertainment; and Mattson Tomlin.

Little Fish focuses on a young married couple who fight to keep their love alive in the face of a mysterious pandemic that erases people’s memories. Tomlin wrote the script, adapting an original short story by Aja Gabel.

Raul Castillo and Soko are also joining the cast of the production, which is set to begin shooting later this month.

Teddy Schwarzman, Ben Stillman and Michael Heimler of Black Bear Pictures will executive produce, along with Fred Berger of Automatik and Tango’s Max Silva. Cooke is also exec producing.

CAA brokered the deal on behalf of Black Bear and will represent domestic distribution rights.

Hartigan’s coming-of-age dramedy Morris From America won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, while This Is Martin Bonner won the Best of Next! Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and also received the John Cassavetes Award at the 2014 Indie Spirit Awards.

O’Connell starred in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and on Netflix’s Western series Godless. Next up for the actor is Against All Enemies, a biopic of controversial French actress Jean Seberg featuring Kristen Stewart, Zazie Beetz and Vince Vaughn.

Cooke starred in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and in Thoroughbreds with Anton Yelchin. She will next be seen in The Sound of Metal with Riz Ahmed.

Cooke is repped by CAA, Grandview, Shepherd Management and Hansen Jacobson, while O’Connell is with CAA and Sloane Offer. Hartigan is repped by CAA, Mosaic and Bloom Hergott.