Sundance Sales: 'Homework', 'Like Crazy', 'My Idiot Brother', More
by Alex Billington
January 24, 2011
We're only four days into the 2011 Sundance Film Festival which means a good number of movies have premiered and sales are finally occurring. Part of the Sundance spectacle is seeing which films get picked up and by which studios, and also championing the films that we love. Though early sales got off to a slow start, the dam burst over the weekend and a few major sales were made for at least three high profile and highly regarded films: Gavin Wiesen's Homework was bought by Fox Searchlight, Drake Doremus' Like Crazy was bought by Paramount, and Jesse Peretz's My Idiot Brother was bought by The Weinstein Company.
Fox Searchlight (via Deadline) officially announced the acquisition of the coming-of-age film Homework, starring Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts. "Homework is a real coming of age story, it touched us with its genuine performances, depth and wit," said Fox Searchlight co-president Nancy Utley in the press release. "We're thrilled to continue Searchlight's tradition of being a home to first time filmmakers." This is one of the bigger films that I haven't seen yet, but I've got a ticket to a screening on Tuesday and I'm very excited to see it, as I trust that Searchlight knows a fantastic film when they see one. To be released in 2011.
Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush announced today the worldwide acquisition of Drake Doremus' Like Crazy for Paramount to release in 2011. The movie is a relationship drama starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as two young adults who fall in love, but must deal with the immense challenges of a long-distance relationship split between Los Angeles and London. "Drake is a brilliant filmmaker, who has crafted a fresh, iconic film. With Paramount's unrivaled production and marketing teams, Drake, Jonathan, Andrea and their amazing cast are in great hands to share this jewel of a film with the world." I did see this film and I LOVED it - it's currently my favorite flick of Sundance and I'm so glad it was already picked up.
In one of the bigger sales of Sundance, The Weinstein Company announced that they've partnered with Ron Burkle to acquire My Idiot Brother, starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Hugh Dancy and Rashida Jones. Ethan just saw the film and gave it 7.5/10. Harvey Weinstein says: "My Idiot Brother knocked me out. It's fresh, funny and true, with sharp direction, terrific writing and a dream of an ensemble cast, led by one of the best actors I've ever worked with - Paul Rudd. Bringing this film home to The Weinstein Company is a great way to start the New Year." No word on release, but I'm guessing it'll be out this year. This is obviously a movie a lot are looking forward to seeing.
A few other sales: Deadline reports that J.C. Chandor's 2008 financial crisis ensemble drama Margin Call with Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Demi Moore and Stanley Tucci was just acquired by Roadside Attractions & Lionsgate. The film's world premiere is Tuesday night at Sundance, although an early screening for press was held on Friday, and a 2011 theatrical release is planned. Deadline also reports that Anchor Bay Films will release the thriller The Big Bang, directed by Tony Krantz and starring Antonio Banderas. "The Big Bang is an action-packed thrill ride featuring an all-star cast," said Kevin Kasha, Executive VP of Acquisitions for Anchor Bay Films. "The movie is an exciting addition to the Anchor Bay Films slate." Unfortunately I haven't seen either of them yet.
We'll continue to keep you updated on any other major sales or news coming out of Sundance, as we expect their to be plenty more throughout the week. In the meantime, you can follow our Sundance coverage here.