EXCLUSIVE : Veteran actress, producer and singer-songwriter Rita Wilson has today announced the launch of Artistic Films — a film production company that will look to tell inspirational stories of hope that resonate with audiences across wide demographics.
The L.A.-based company's first film leading the way for its vision, produced in association with Playtone and SF Studios, is A Man Called Otto , starring Wilson's husband Tom Hanks. The Sony Pictures title directed by Marc Forster is based on Fredrik Backman's bestselling 2012 novel A Man Called Ove , which Sweden's Hannes Holm previously adapted into an Oscar-nominated film of the same name.
Pic tells the story of Otto Anderson (Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol (Mariana Treviño). She challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around.
A Man Called Otto will open in select Los Angeles and New York theaters on Christmas Day, expanding nationwide on January 13.
"The films that I love bring people joy and allow us to have an emotional experience whether it's through comedy, drama or, sometimes, both," Wilson told Deadline. "Connection, the things that unite us, rather than separate us, is what inspires me. Artistic Films will look to create movies that explore our common human experiences."
With an established track record of critically and commercially successful film productions, Wilson first donned her producer's cap for My Big Fat Greek Wedding — the 2002 film written by and starring Nia Vardalos which started off as a sleeper hit but went on to become the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, also notching Oscar and Golden Globe noms. Wilson was the driving force behind bringing Vardalos' semi-autobiographical story to the screen and saw her work on the film recognized with the Visionary Award from the Producer's Guild of America, among other accolades. She subsequently produced and appeared in the sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 , with the third film in the franchise slated for release in 2023.
Following her success with My Big Fat Greek Wedding , Wilson went on to exec produce the Universal hit Mamma Mia! , starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan — having seen the theatrical production in London shortly after it opened and developed the project for the screen — also exec producing its sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again .
Wilson has married her love of music and film many times over the course of her career. She has also notably co-written and recorded several songs for film — most recently "Til You're Home" from A Man Called Otto , which she performs with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sebastián Yatra. She has also contributed tunes to films including The Outpost , Love Is Love Is Love , My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 , A simple Wedding , Boy Genius and Dawn Patrol , and released five studio albums — her most recent being Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets .
Wilson's film acting credits include such titles as Sleepless in Seattle , It's Complicated , Mixed Nuts , Now and Then , That Thing You Do! , Jingle All the Way , Psycho , Runaway Bride , Invisible Child , The Story of Us , Auto Focus , Raise Your Voice , The Chumscrubber , Beautiful Ohio , My Life in Ruins and Old Dogs , among others. Notable television credits include Girls , The Good Wife , Curb Your Enthusiasm , Frasier , Mad About You , Moonlighting , Who's The Boss? , Three's Company , Happy Days , Law and Order: SVU and M*A*S*H* .
Wilson is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
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