Hulu has followed the lead of its chief rivals by getting into the film distribution business. The streaming video platform has teamed up with Lionsgate to acquire the rights to the comedy feature film Joshy, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Joshy, directed by Jeff Baena, follows its titular character, played by Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch, as he reunites with his friends at what was supposed to be his bachelor party. Each member of the ensemble carries his own baggage, and the film unravels its characters across its 93-minute runtime. Beyond Middleditch, other notables in the Joshy cast include Adam Pally, Nick Kroll, and Jenny Slate.
Hulu’s distribution strategy for Joshy is closer to the one Amazon has used for its feature films than the one Netflix has adopted for its own slate. The film will have a full theatrical run, orchestrated by Lionsgate, before arriving on Hulu’s streaming platform. This arrangement will appease theater chains while also providing Hulu with some measure of exclusivity.
“We’re proud to expand our multi-faceted relationship with Hulu,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “The extension of our alliance into film acquisitions signals a new growth opportunity for both companies and Joshy is a great movie to kick it off. Jeff Baena and his creative team have made a hilarious and irreverent film that we believe will resonate with moviegoers and online audiences alike.”
No theatrical release date has been announced for Joshy as of yet. The film premiered at Sundance on January 24th, 2016.