Joel McHale, Lauren Graham and Robin Williams will star in the holiday comedy "A Friggin' Christmas Miracle," which Sycamore Pictures will finance and produce. The film marks Sycamore's first new project since "The Way, Way Back," which recently scored one of the biggest deals at the Sundance Film Festival.
Sycamore's Tom Rice will produce with Joe and Anthony Russo. The Russo Brothers are about to direct the "Captain America" sequel for Marvel and Disney, and they have also been executive producers and directors of "Community."
Much of the talent for this project comes from TV, specifically NBC's cult favorite "Community." Director Tristram Shapeero has directed more than a dozen episodes of that show, as well as "Parks and Recreation" and "The New Girl." McHale, whose last film role was in Seth MacFarlane's "Ted," stars on "Community."
In this film, McHale stars as Boyd Mitchler. Mitchler and his wife Luann (Graham) must spend Christmas with his father Mitch (Williams) and the rest of his family. Boyd soon realizes he left all his son's gifts at home, and hits the road with his father and brother to try and salvage Christmas.
"After an extremely exciting and successful week in Park City, Utah, we are very excited to head to Atlanta, Georgia to begin production on Phil's heartfelt comedy surrounding a lovable but dysfunctional family, with another ensemble cast that is an embarrassment of riches," Rice, whose company is also co-financing Joh Carney's "Can a Song Save Your Life?", said in a statement.
Phil Johnston, who penned "Cedar Rapids" and "Wreck-It Ralph," wrote the script for "Christmas Miracle."
The film will begin production in Atlanta at the end of March. Hyde Park International will shop the international distributions rights, beginning this week at the European Film Market in Berlin. WME, which represents Williams, McHale, Shapeero and the financiers, will represent North American rights.