Sundance 2011: Paramount Buys LIKE CRAZY, Roadside and Lionsgate Buy MARGIN CALL

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Today brings the first two big acquisitions out of Sundance 2011.  Paramount has acquired Like Crazy, a mostly improvised romantic drama starring Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Felicity Jones (The Tempest), and Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone).  The one liner is, “the story follows a British college student who falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.”  Paramount has mostly been out of the Sundance game since their specialty label Paramount Vantage folded in 2008, but outbid a number of other studios in an all-night negotiation.

Margin Call came into the fest with a high profile given its stars: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci.  No surprise that the drama about the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis quickly found a buyer in Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate.  Hit the jump for the official announcements

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS AND LIONSGATE PLACE A MARGIN CALL

Benaroya Pictures, Before the Door Close One of the First Major Deals During the 2011 Sundance Film Festival

Park City, UT (January 23, 2011)- Steve Beeks of Lionsgate and Howard Cohen of Roadside Attractions jointly announced today that the companies have partnered to acquire and release J.C. Chandor’s thriller, MARGIN CALL.  Following all night negotiations, the deal was negotiated by Cassian Elwes and Rena Ronson of UTA on behalf of MARGIN CALL producers. Howard Cohen negotiated on behalf of Roadside and Steve Beeks on behalf of Lionsgate. The film’s world premiere is Tuesday night at the Eccles Theater, and a 2011 theatrical release is planned.

MARGIN CALL stars a stellar ensemble cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, and Stanley Tucci. The film was written and directed by Chandor and produced by Michael Benaroya and Barnum of Benaroya Pictures, and Quinto, Dodson, and Corey Moosa of Before the Door Pictures and Joe Jenckes. Elwes, Laura Rister, Randy Manis, and Joshua Blum are executive producers. Myriad Pictures represents international rights on the project.

Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, Margin Call is a thriller entangling the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When entry-level analyst Peter Sullivan (Quinto) unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster. Expanding the parameters of genre, MARGIN CALL is a riveting examination of the human components of a subject too often relegated to partisan issues of black and white. Chandor’s enthralling first feature is a stark and bravely authentic portrayal of the financial industry and its denizens as they confront the decisions that shape our global future.

PARAMOUNT PICTURES AND INDIAN PAINTBRUSH ACQUIRE WORLDWIDE RIGHTS OUT OF SUNDANCE FOR “LIKE CRAZY”

HOLLYWOOD, CA (January 23, 2011) – Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush announced today the worldwide acquisition of LIKE CRAZY for Paramount Pictures to release in 2011. The Super Crispy Entertainment production from co-writer and director Drake Doremus (“Douchebag”), producers Jonathan Schwartz (“The Way Back,” “Douchebag,” “Funny Games”) and Andrea Sperling (“Kaboom,” “Sympathy For Delicious”) of Super Crispy Entertainment, and executive producers Audrey and Zygi Wilf had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.

Starring Anton Yelchin (“Star Trek,” and “Terminator Salvation”), Felicity Jones (“The Tempest”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“Winters Bone”), LIKE CRAZY was written by Doremus and Ben York Jones (“Douchebag”). The story follows a British college student who falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum said of the movie “Young love has rarely been so palpable or looked so real,” while Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said “Like Crazy” brings a compelling intimacy and heart-stopping delicacy to showing the push and pull of love, longing and regret.”

Adam Goodman, President of Paramount’s Film Group and Matt Brodlie, Senior VP of Productions and Acquisitions for Paramount, along with Indian Paintbrush’s President of Production Mark Roybal negotiated for the rights with the film’s reps Rich Klubeck and David Flynn from UTA, along with Schwartz and Doremus’ attorney Lawrence Kopeikin from Morris Yorn.

Said Goodman, “Along with our partners at Indian Paintbrush, we are extremely pleased to be a part of such a great movie, and look forward to working with Drake, Jonathan, Andrea and a tremendous cast of actors.”

A spokesperson for Indian Paintbrush added, “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.”

“Paramount and Indian Paintbrush’s passion and commitment towards the film is incredibly exciting,” said Super Crispy Entertainment President and producer Jonathan Schwartz.

For all of our coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, click here.




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