Sundance Breakout ‘Thelma’ Acquired by Magnolia

The heist movie from writer-director Josh Margolin stars June Squibb and Richard Roundree

"Thelma"
"Thelma" (Credit: Sundance)

One of the movies everyone was talking about at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was “Thelma,” starring June Squibb as an unlikely 94-year-old action hero. You’ll be able to meet “Thelma” soon, as Magnolia has acquired the North American rights to the movie in a competitive situation with multiple offers following its Sundance debut.

“Thelma” stars Squibb in her first leading role, as the title character, a grandmother who gets conned by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson (Fred Hechinger) and sets on an action-packed odyssey across Los Angeles to reclaim what is hers.

The film also features the final performance from the legendary Richard Roundtree, who plays Thelma’s friend who accompanies her on her journey. Parker Posey, Clark Gregg and Malcolm McDowell round out the cast. The film marks the feature debut of director Josh Margolin, who also wrote the screenplay.

“Brilliantly marrying Magnolia’s love of action, revenge, and grandmothers, ‘Thelma’ is totally unique yet universally irresistible,” said Magnolia Pictures co-CEOs Eamonn Bowles and Dori Begley in a statement. “The team at Magnolia is beyond excited to bring Josh Margolin’s thrilling and loving caper to audiences across the country.”

“This has all been a dream come true — to get to make this movie, to premiere it at Sundance, and now to release it in theaters with Magnolia,” said Margolin.  “I’ve admired their films for years and feel truly lucky to be partnering with them. We’re so excited to share ‘Thelma’ with everyone!”

Our own review of “Thelma’ out of Sundance called the movie “a totally pure delight that gives June Squibb a much-deserved leading role” with Margolin’s script described as “breezy and sharp in equal measure.”

Magnolia is planning a wide theatrical release though a release date wasn’t announced.

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