Focus Features Acquires HIV/AIDS Drama Dallas Buyers Club

As far back as 2011, Matthew McConaughey was committed to starring in an HIV/AIDS drama titled The Dallas Buyers Club. At the time this seemed strange; an actor of McConaughey’s then-caliber seemed the wrong fit for such a project. But a lot has changed for the actor. Namely, starring in a string of films where he has been getting lots of praise and platitudes.

The film, which is currently in post-production, has been acquired by Focus Features for domestic distribution sometime this fall. Dallas Buyers Club is based on the true story of Ron Woodruff and is set in the mid-’80s when AIDS was becoming more prevalent in the United States. Diagnosed with the disease and given a death sentence that is to occur in approximately a month’s time, Ron tries to beat the reaper by toying with underground drugs that have not been approved by the FDA. The guinea pig test on himself proved successful, extending his life expectancy, so he decided to get the drugs to other AIDS victims as well.

Focus Features released a formal statement on the acquisition. Focus CEO James Schamus and Focus president Andrew Karpen acknowledged with the announcement that “Matthew McConaughey is an actor at the top of his game, and he incarnates Ron Woodroof by showing how his self-interest was galvanized into something much more. Audiences will want to take this journey with him, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Garner, as guided by their dynamic director Jean-Marc Vallée.”

Vallée added, “I’m extremely pleased that we are partnered with Focus Features. They have a long and successful history of sharing memorable stories. Ron Woodroof’s story is one of an imperfect man and his fight for survival, during a confused and desperate time. We all believe that this film had to finally be made, and we are all grateful and privileged to be part of this project.”