It was the heart-warming story of the year. When the Make-A-Wish Foundation sought to give a young boy an adventure to remember dressed up as his favorite superhero, the City of San Francisco responded in incredible fashion, creating one those truth is stranger than fiction occasions as thousands of people, from the San Francisco Mayor’s office to the newsroom of the San Francisco Chronicle to the cast of Arrow all lent their support to the endeavor. All the Batkid action as captured by filmmaker Dana Nachman, who turned her footage into a documentary called Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World. It premiered at Slamdance a couple of months ago, but a new distribution deal seems to indicate that audiences across the country will get a chance to see it for themselves on the big screen.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today that Batkid has been picked up by New Line Cinemas, which is kind of a huge deal since documentaries aren’t typically bought and distributed by major studios. New Line, of course, is a division of Time Warner, which also owns DC Comics and the Batman character, so corporate synergy-wise speaking picking up this doc makes sense. There’s also the fact that the Batkid story has already been optioned for a dramatic re-telling by Julia Roberts, who will produce and likely star in the dramatization of the real-life events.
Aside from the good business sense, this is good news for audiences because a major studio as distributor likely means a wide release for the doc. It’s unlikely that Batkid is going to open on 4,000 screens across America, but with New Line releasing the doc it’s also unlikely that it will be limited to the nation’s art house cinemas as well. Video-on-demand, Netflix et al have allowed audiences an easy and immediate way to engage in documentaries, but unless you’re name is Michael Moore, a wide release for a film in that genre is incredibly hard to secure. In other words, for documentary fans, this is very good news, and for people just interested in reliving the Batkid story, this is also good news.
There’s no word yet on when Batkid might be released in a theater near you, but it would be likely that it could get a release sometime later this year, or even later this summer. Nerd Bastards will keep you posted, and let you know as soon as we know.