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Stephen Dorff’s Country Music Movie ‘Wheeler’ Acquired by Momentum

Variety logo Variety 11/28/2016 Dave McNary
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Momentum Pictures has acquired North American rights to Stephen Dorff’s country music film “Wheeler,” with plans for a Feb. 3 release in theaters and on demand.

“Wheeler” contains original music and score written and performed live by Dorff, who also co-wrote and produced the film with director Ryan Ross. Additional cast and live performers include Kris Kristofferson, Bobby Tomberlin, and Audrey Spillman.

Varèse Sarabande Records will release the official soundtrack when the film opens on Feb. 3. The single “Pour Me Out of This Town,” co-written and performed by Dorff, is available now on all digital services.

“Wheeler” follows an aspiring musician from Texas, who travels to Nashville with the lifelong dream of trying his hand at country music. Dorff used prosthetic makeup so he would not be recognized.

“We set out to make a unique film about the journey of a country musician pursuing his dreams in Nashville,” Dorff said. “Our goal was to create an authentic experience for audiences by having me infiltrate the music scene in full makeup and prosthetics as the character, Wheeler. When we met with Momentum Pictures, they immediately embraced the film and impressed us with their enthusiasm and ideas.”

Bobby Tomberlin, Mickey Raphael, and Derek Vanderhorst executive produced the film. “Wheeler” was shot on location in and around Nashville, including historic country music venues like the Bluebird Café. Current “Westworld” makeup department head Christien Tinsley (“The Passion of the Christ”) and his team provided the makeup effects.

Dorff’s credits include “Blade,” “American Hero,” and Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” which won the Golden Lion for best picture at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Momentum Pictures by Sejin Croninger and by Paradigm on behalf of the filmmakers.


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