Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to “Bad Words” and plans a 2014 release for the comedy starring Jason Bateman, who’s making his directorial debut.
The “Arrested Development” star plays a man seeking catharsis who discovers a loophole in the National Spelling Bee rules and joins the competition. Bateman is directing from Andrew Dodge’s original screenplay, which made the 2011 Black List and is his first to be produced.
The film also stars Allison Janney as the organization’s director, who’s outraged by the situation. The moderate-budget project shot back in November.
Bateman also produced through his Aggregate Films label along with MXN’s Mason Novick and Darko Entertainment’s Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta.
CAA and Hicks Professional Law Corporation repped Darko Entertainment/Aggregate Films/MXN in the sale, which closed Saturday, the day after “Bad Words” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.