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Julia Roberts Drama ‘Ben Is Back’ Acquired by Roadside, Lionsgate and LD

Oscar winner will star with Lucas Hedges in drama about a mother and her recovering addict son

Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate and LD Entertainment announced Monday their acquisition of the rights to “Ben Is Back,” a drama starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges.

Directed and written by Peter Hedges (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”), the film follows Ben Burns (Hedges), a recovering 19-year-old addict who unexpectedly returns to his mother’s house on Christmas Eve. Ben’s mother, Holly (Roberts), is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and Holly is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe.

Courtney B. Vance and Kathryn Newton also star. Black Bear Pictures & Color Force produced the film with 30WEST and Black Bear fully financing the project. The film was produced by Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Teddy Schwarzman and Peter Hedges.  CAA handled U.S. sales for “Ben is Back” while Sierra/Affinity is handling foreign sales.

“Drawing from Peter Hedges’ incredibly moving script and direction, Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges deliver career-high performances,” said Roadside Attractions co-founders Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff. “In a role that is current and important, Julia Roberts is transformative as a mom fighting to save her son. And we are thrilled to reunite with Lucas Hedges after his Oscar-nominated turn in ‘Manchester By the Sea,’ he is unforgettable here as a young man trying to re-connect with his family for Christmas.”

Roberts and Peter Hedges are represented by CAA and Lucas Hedges is represented by CAA and Anonymous Content.

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