Sundance Action Comedy ‘First Date’ Picked Up by Magnet Releasing

Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp directed and wrote the film that will open later this year

Last Updated: March 8, 2021 @ 11:44 AM

“First Date,” an action comedy that premiered at this year’s Sundance in the film festival’s NEXT session, has been picked up by Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures.

“First Date” is the feature debut of writers and directors Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp and stars breakout Tyson Brown, and Magnet is planning to release the film later this year.

The film is about a shy teen whose eagerly anticipated first date with his longtime crush and girl-next-door is interrupted by a relentless series of mishaps and crimes, including being targeted by criminals, cops and a crazy cat lady.

“First Date” also stars Jesse Janzen, Nicole Berry, Samuel Ademola, Ryan Quinn Adams, Angela Barber, Dave Reimer, Jake Howard, Samantha Laurenti, Scott Noble, Leah Finity, Josh Fesler, and Brandon Kraus.

USA Today included the film on its list of best movies at Sundance, writing, “If Quentin Tarantino made an indie teen comedy, it’d probably resemble this super fun film.”

“We are extremely thrilled to be partnering with Magnolia Pictures and Magnet Releasing for our release,” Crosby and Knapp said in a statement. “It’s a dream come true for us to be working with a company that truly fosters and supports independent filmmakers.¬† Thank you so much, Eamonn and the whole crew- we can’t wait for audiences to see the movie!”

“Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp have managed the rare feat of bringing a fresh take to both the action and comedy genres,” Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said in a statement. “‘First Date’ is sure to be the first film of many for this talented duo.”

Written and directed by Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp, ‘First Date’ is a Visit Films Production, produced by Crosby, Knapp, Brandon Kraus, Lucky McKee and Charles Horak.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden and by Ryan Kampe of Visit Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

Magnolia has previously picked up out of this year’s Sundance the animated “Cryptozoo,” the horror film “Censor” and the documentary “A Glitch in the Matrix.”