“How It Ends,” a serene apocalyptic comedy from partners Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein, has been acquired by MGM’s American International Pictures label.
The film was an official selection at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, written and directed by Lister-Jones who produced with Wein. American International Pictures will release the project in theaters and on digital platforms on July 20 in the U.S. The company also holds worldwide distribution rights.
The project follows Liza (Lister-Jones), traversing across Los Angeles on the eve of the end of the world. As she reconciles relationships with parents, old lovers and friends, she walks in step with a metaphysical projection of her younger self (the dazzling Cailee Spaeny of HBO’s “Mare of Eastown”).
The project features dozens of cameos from top comedy stars and actors including Whitney Cummings, Tawny Newsome, Finn Wolfard, Nick Kroll, Logan Marshall Green, Bobby Lee, Fred Armisen, Glenn Howerton, Bradley Whitford, Ayo Edebiri, Sharon Van Etten, Olivia Wilde, Paul W. Downs, Raymond Cham Jr., Lamorne Morris, Angelique Cabral, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Helen Hunt, Colin Hanks, Charlie Day, Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Pauly Shore.
The deal was brokered on behalf of MGM/AIP by Sam Wollman, executive vice president of worldwide acquisitions and film sales, RAMO Law and Endeavor Content.
“Zoe and Daryl created something truly unique with ‘How It Ends,’ which was shot entirely during one of the most surreal and challenging periods in our industry’s history,” said Chris Ottinger, president of worldwide television distribution and acquisitions at MGM. “The result is a charming and funny take on the last-day-on-earth genre. We’re thrilled to be able to share this film with audiences around the world this summer.”
Lister-Jones and Wein said they were “thrilled to be partnering with MGM and AIP on the release of ‘How It Ends.’ This film was made with a lot of love and amazingly talented friends, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Wein and Lister-Jones are founders of Mister Lister Films, the banner under which the husband and wife frequently collaborate. Wein’s credits include “White Rabbit,” the Searchlight project “Lola Versus” led by Greta Gerwig, “Breaking Upwards” for IFC Films, “Blueprint” and “Consumed.” He also served as a director on Amazon’s award-winning series “Mozart in the Jungle.” He is represented by WME and RAIN Management.
Lister-Jones most recently wrote, directed, and produced “The Craft: Legacy” for Blumhouse and Sony Pictures, which also starred Spaeny. Her directorial debut was “Band Aid,” the well-received indie which she produced and starred in with Fred Armisen. Lister-Jones also wrote, executive produced and starred in “Lola Versus” and “Breaking Upward.” As an actor, Lister-Jones is best known for the series “Life in Pieces” with Colin Hanks, and the sitcoms “New Girl” and “Whitney.” She is represented by Mosaic and WME.
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