When Does Mindy Kaling’s Sundance Hit ‘Late Night’ Arrive in Theaters?

If you’re not interested in the next superhero comic-book film, the festival circuit is worth your attention. This year at Sundance, the audience got a look at several films that should make noise on the awards circuit early next year.

That list begins with The Report, a picture starring Adam Driver, Jon Hamm, and Annette Bening (as Dianne Feinstein) that Amazon snatched up for the price of $14 million. By this fall (once the marketing campaign is in place), audiences will get a look at it in theaters.

But The Report was far from the only highlight of this year’s festival. Amazon also bought the rights to Late Night, a film written by Mindy Kaling and starring Kaling and Emma Thompson. In the picture, which Nisha Ganatra (Transparent) directed, Thompson plays a late-night talk-show host struggling to stay relevant who hires Kaling as the first woman on her staff.

Here’s a look at the cast and details as well as when moviegoers can find it in theaters.

Kaling joined by other comedy regulars

Mindy Kaling appears in ‘Late Night’ by Nisha Ganatra, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. | Emily Aragones/Sundance Institute.

While Kaling wrote and produced dozens of episodes of her own show (and of The Office), Late Night represents her first feature film credits in both departments. Ganatra, who was a producer and director on Amazon’s Transparent, has directed episodes of Girls, Shameless, and Brooklyn 99 as well as The Mindy Project.

The story follows Thompson’s fight to stay atop the late-night talk-show circuit while an upstart angles for her job. Amid accusations of hating women, Thompson’s character adds Kaling to the staff as a diversity hire to silence her critics.

Unfortunately, one hire cannot turn the tide, so Kaling’s character has to summon all of her powers for material that will help Thompson get her status back in late-night.

Ike Barinholtz, a Mindy Project alum who played the relief pitcher out for Kenny Powers’s closer job on Eastbound & Down, wants Thompson’s job this time around. Other cast members include Reid Scott (Dan Egan on Veep), Amy Ryan (Birdman), and John Lithgow.

‘Late Night’ expected by summer 2019

Emma Thompson appears in ‘Late Night,’ an official selection at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. | Emily Aragones/Sundance Institute

According to reports, Amazon will unveil Late Night in theaters nationwide by the summer. Afterward, the streaming platform would make it available to Prime members to view at their leisure.

Variety, which broke the news about Amazon’s buy, noted the film commanded a high sum ($13 million) for only its domestic rights. The filmmakers can still negotiate for global distribution.

Amazon will hope it can score the type of success its Sundance pickup The Big Sick scored in 2017. That film went on to earn over $55 million worldwide.

If the early reviews offer any guidance, Late Night shouldn’t have a big problem attracting viewers when it lands in theaters. It’s already on our list for must-see films later this year.

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