From Sundance to Near You
Published January 21, 2009
Trailer for Black Dynamite.
Yesterday was a quiet one for Sundance dealmakers; it might have had something to do with the whole inauguration thing. In any case, with haggling expected to resume today, now’s not a bad time to take stock of what’s sold so far. Below, the Sundance flicks that will be coming soon to a theater near you:
The fest’s first major buy—and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, one of the quickest deals in recent Sundance history—Antoine Fuqua’s character-driven cop thriller was pounced on by Senator Distribution (which partners with Sony) Saturday. It stars Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, and Ethan Hawke, who evidently enjoyed playing a young, morally confused cop so much for Fuqua in Training Day that he decided to do it all over again.
Sony bought Scott Sanders’s (Thick As Thieves) blaxploitation spoof for about $2 million on Monday morning, following after all-night negotiations. They’re looking at a summer or fall release, with actors already signed on for a sequel. Trailers (above) started making the rounds on the Web months before Sundance.
Before it went to Sony Pictures Classics early Tuesday for somewhere in the vicinity of $3 million, this Nick Hornby-scripted coming-of-age romance was the target of some heated bidding. Set in 60’s London, it’s directed by Lone Scherfig (Italian for Beginners) and stars Carey Mulligan as a schoolgirl who falls for an older man (Peter Sarsgaard). The 23-year-old Mulligan, as our own Rebecca Sinn noted earlier, may turn out to be this Sundance’s big breakout star. Her other movie at the festival, The Greatest, stars Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon and is expected to find a home any minute.
Outbid on An Education, Fox Searchlight settled for this romance about a young couple (Rose Byrne and Hugh Dancy, whose character suffers from Asperger syndrome) in New York. It’s written and directed by first-time Max Mayer.
The Winning Season
A win indeed, as Lionsgate snapped up American and UK rights to this Sam Rockwell comedy (about a divorced wash-up who takes a job coaching his old high school’s girls’ basketball team) Tuesday morning.
Two more titles expected to sell very soon: the Ashton Kutcher dramedy Spread and I Love You Phillip Morris, a Genet-like prison drama starring Ewan McGregor and (no joke) Jim Carrey.