Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to "Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie," the studio said Tuesday.
The documentary about the chain-smoking talk show host, details the way his firebrand style helped usher in a new era of so-called "trash TV."
Thanks to catch-phrases like "zip it" and a penchant for tackling shocking subjects he was a sensation when he burst onto the scene in the eighties, but by the decade's end fortune shifted dramatically on Downey -- his ratings sagged, his program was canceled and he was forced to file for bankruptcy.
The film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, will be released theatrically by Magnolia in early 2013.
It was directed by Ironbound Films’ Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger and features archival footage and interviews with politicians like Al Sharpton and Ron Paul.
“'Évocateur' is an incredibly entertaining documentary,” Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles said in a statement. “While we tend to think that everything has gotten so extreme in this age of reality television, it’s shocking to see how ‘The Morton Downey Jr. Show’ makes everything today pale in comparison."
The deal was done by Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley with Josh Braun of Submarine.