EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed Matt Johnson and Matthew Miller, the filmmaker collaborators behind the acclaimed dramedy BlackBerry, which made its domestic premiere at SXSW after world premiering in competition at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
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Co-written by Johnson and Miller, BlackBerry chronicles the rise and fall of the world’s first smartphone. Johnson stars opposite Glenn Howerton and Jay Baruchel in the film, based on Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff’s book Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry, which Miller produced.
In Deadline’s review of the film released in the U.S. by IFC Films on May 12th, Pete Hammond wrote, “Who knew a Canadian biopic of an infamous smartphone could be this entertaining, even poignant and moving? I am here to tell you today’s world premiere Berlin Film Festival competition entry BlackBerry is all that and more.
“In the hands of co-writer (with Matthew Miller), director and co-star Matt Johnson (The Dirties), this long and winding tale of the rise and fall of the BlackBerry, the revolutionary device that first combined a computer with a phone all in one, is at once wonderfully funny, suspenseful and ultimately tragic,” added Hammond. “Here is a business story that has it all, and has much in common with other movies that focus on iconic tales of new-age businesses like The Social Network, Moneyball and The Big Short.”
Johnson and Miller launched their production company, Zapruder Films, following the success of their debut feature, The Dirties, a found-footage thriller that garnered the Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance 2013. The pair’s follow-up film was the conspiracy thriller Operation Avalanche, which debuted at Sundance in 2016.
In 2017, Johnson and Miller partnered with Spike Jonze on Nirvanna the Band the Show, a mockumentary series that ran for two seasons on Viceland. The duo continues to be managed by 3 Arts Entertainment.
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