EXCLUSIVE: Vertical has secured North American rights to the mystery comedy Susie Searches which premiered at TIFF 2022. Based on her 2020 short film of the same name, Sophie Kargman makes her feature film directorial debut and shares story credit alongside the film’s writer William Day Frank. It stars Kiersey Clemons (Dope), Alex Wolff (Hereditary), Jim Gaffigan (Chappaquiddick), Ken Marino (Wanderlust), and Rachel Sennott (Bodies Bodies Bodies).
The film is slated for a day-and-date release later this year. Fortitude International will be launching international sales on the title at this week’s EFM.
The film follows Susie (Clemons), an awkward college student with a failing true-crime podcast, who seizes the opportunity to boost her campus and online popularity by solving the mysterious disappearance of Jesse (Wolff), the campus heart-throb. With her star on the rise, events take a dark turn as Susie digs out the truth and soon finds herself in over her head.
Susie Searches is produced by Magnetic Labs (formerly 141 Entertainment) by producers Adam Mirels and Robbie Mirels (Ingrid Goes West, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon) with Nicola Smith co-producing, and Clemons executive producing along with Jaimie Fairweather, David B. Newhouse and Kargman.
Adam Mirels and Robbie Mirels of Magnetic Labs commented, “We love giving filmmakers their first shot and Sophie has knocked it out of the park with Susie Searches, a film that’s sure to become a cult classic. We can’t wait for audiences to experience Kiersey Clemons’ phenomenal performance as Susie and to fall in love with Alex’s Wolff’s deeply empathetic portrayal of Jesse.”
Vertical’s SVP of Acquisitions Tony Piantedosi says, “Sophie has pulled off a remarkable tonal balancing act, crafting a film in which the chilling twists and hilarious comedy beats are equally startling and keep the audience on their toes. This is anchored by the endearing and layered performance from Kiersey Clemons, and we’re excited for audiences to be plunged into the mystery with her.”
Vertical’s Partner Peter Jarowey and Piantedosi negotiated the deal on behalf of Vertical, while WME Independent and UTA Independent Film Group negotiated on behalf of the production.