It looks like the Yari Film Group’s ill-timed bankruptcy has killed the chance of a theatrical release for Brett Simon’s 2008 Sundance hit, “Assassination of a High School President.”
The film, which earned high praise from the notoriously tough Sundance crowd, stars Reece Thompson (the underseen “Rocket Science”) as a Woodward-and-Bernstein-loving high school journalism student out to expose a plot concerning stolen SATs. Mischa Barton co-stars as the requisite hot Catholic schoolgirl while Bruce Willis plays a Gulf War veteran who also happens to be the principal.
A closer look at the exceptional supporting ensemble reveals hidden gems such as Michael Rapaport, Melonie Diaz, Zoe Kravitz (Lenny’s daughter), Kathryn Morris (“Cold Case”), Quinn Shephard (“Unaccompanied Minors”), Josh Pais (the voice of TMNT’s Raphael!) and “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” (another solid, long-delayed movie about high school kids) vets Luke Grimes and Aaron Himelstein.
According to SlashFilm, studio execs are mulling over whether or not to commit the finances necessary for theatrical distribution, but that most likely, Sony Pictures Home Entertaiment will send the film straight to DVD. Unless, of course, a hip distributor like Fox Searchlight comes in to save the day… and maybe the titular President.
“AHSP” has drawn a plethora of comparisons to Rian Johnson’s “Brick,” although personally, I’m not sure they help its chances of securing theatrical release, since “Brick” is wildly overrated. But then again, I haven’t seen the film, so who am I to judge? Our own Larry Carroll describes the “truly great” black comedy cum noir mystery as “Rushmore” meets “The Usual Suspects.” On second thought, that does sound pretty cool.