Quite a few more acquisitions to report from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival today. Two star-studded films found distributors at the festival, with The Weinstein Company picking up worldwide rights to the dark comedy The Details starring Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks, and Magnolia Pictures grabbing the US rights to the polarizingly dark drama I Melt With You starring Rob Lowe, Thomas Jane and Jeremy Piven. IFC Films acquired North American rights to the Ewan McGregor and Eva Green romantic thriller Perfect Sense, Sony Pictures Classics acquired the action comedy The Guard starring Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson, and Fox Searchlight snatched up the sci-fi drama Another Earth starring William Mapother and Brit Marling. Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn had this to say about acquiring I Melt With You:
“Mark Pellington has made a maverick, stylish and powerful film that resonates for days after viewing. Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven and Christian McKay give some of the best performances of their entire careers and attention must be paid.”
Hit the jump to read the full press releases of all of the aforementioned films. Be sure to check out all of our Sundance coverage (including interviews, reviews and acquisitions) here.
Here are the full press releases:
THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY GETS THE DETAILS FROM WRITER/DIRECTOR JACOB AARON ESTES
Company Acquires Worldwide Rights to Dark Comedy Starring Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert and Kerry Washington
PARK CITY, UTAH – JANUARY 25, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that it has acquired worldwide rights to Liddell Entertainment’s THE DETAILS from writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes, which had its world premiere Monday night at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert and Kerry Washington star in the film, a dark comedy about love, marriage and animal invaders. Written and directed by Estes (MEAN CREEK), THE DETAILS was produced by Mark Gordon, Hagai Shaham and Bryan Zuriff. Mickey Liddell and Jennifer Hilton are Executive Producers.
Said TWC co-founder Harvey Weinstein, “My brother and I saw THE DETAILS and knew we had to have it for our 2011 slate. We’re thrilled to be reunited with Tobey Maguire, eleven years after THE CIDER HOUSE RULES.
TWC COO David Glasser added, “This deal is a fantastic way to close a day that began with our celebrating 13 Academy Award® nominations for THE KING’S SPEECH and BLUE VALENTINE.
“To be amongst such a great group of filmmakers at Sundance this year with my new movie was a humbling honor,” stated director Jacob Aaron Estes. “I grew up admiring movies that Harvey and Bob have championed over their storied careers, and so I couldn’t be happier to be working with them on THE DETAILS.”
Commented producer Mark Gordon: “The experience on this film has been a collaborative dream. Mickey Liddell, the other producers, and of course, Jacob, all worked together to create a special film featuring a talented ensemble cast. We’re excited to work with The Weinstein Company to introduce this incredibly funny story to moviegoers.
The deal was negotiated for TWC by Glasser, Peter Lawson, TWC Head of Acquisitions, and Laine Kline, TWC Executive Vice President Legal Affairs; with CAA and UTA representing the filmmakers.
SYNOPSIS – THE DETAILS (from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival catalog)
After 10 years of marriage, Jeff (Tobey Maguire) and Nealy (Elizabeth Banks) have a young son, an idyllic suburban life, and a marriage that’s stuck. Accordingly, Jeff decides to plant a perfect backyard lawn. Enter the raccoons, who repeatedly tear up his grass. When Jeff tries to eradicate these meddlesome vandals, his efforts initiate a bewildering chain reaction involving a crazy cat lady (Laura Linney), multiple infidelities, extortion, organ donation, and somebody on the wrong end of a bow and arrow.
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Since its launch, TWC and Dimension Films have also released such films as GRINDHOUSE, LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, 1408, I’M NOT THERE, THE MIST, THE GREAT DEBATERS, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, THE READER, THE ROAD, CLERKS II, FACTORY GIRL, HALLOWEEN, THE PAT TILLMAN STORY, PIRANHA 3D and the 2010 Oscar® winner INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS NINE and 2010 Oscar nominees A SINGLE MAN and NINE.
Currently in release is Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, which has been nominated for 12 2011 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture; Derek Cianfrance’s BLUE VALENTINE, starring Michelle Williams, in an Academy Award-nominated performance, and Ryan Gosling; and John Wells’ feature directorial debut, COMPANY MEN, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Rosemary DeWitt, Maria Bello and Chris Cooper. Recently wrapping is MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper, Emma Watson and Julia Ormond, Robert Rodriguez’s SPY KIDS 4 with Jessica Alba, and the new installment of the SCREAM franchise, SCREAM 4.
IFC FILMS TAKES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO DAVID MACKENZIE’S PERFECT SENSE
Park City, UT (January 26, 2011) – IFC FILMS announced today from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to director David Mackenzie’s romantic thriller PERFECT SENSE, which had its world premiere in the Premieres section this week. Directed by Sundance alum Mackenzie (who was at the festival in 2009 with Spread), with a screenplay by Kim Fupz Aakeson, the film reunites Mackenzie with star Ewan McGregor (who he directed in the critically acclaimed Young Adam). The film, which was produced by Malte Grunert and Gillian Berrie, also stars Eva Green and Connie Nielsen.
PERFECT SENSE follows Susan (Green), an epidemiologist, who reemerges from an affair gone sour, and encounters a peculiar patient—a truck driver who experienced a sudden, uncontrollable crying fit. Now he is calm, but he has lost his sense of smell. Susan soon learns there are hundreds of people across the globe beginning to suffer strange symptoms, affecting the emotions, then the senses. The film offers a deeply moving proposition about the way the human race might weather a global pandemic.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “PERFECT SENSE is a beautiful and sexy love story brought to life by the wonderfully appealing performances of Ewan MacGregor and Eva Green. We look forward to working with them and David Mackenzie to bring this haunting apocalyptic story of the world gone wrong to American audiences.”
“PERFECT SENSE is a film where you feel like hugging your dear ones after seeing it. I couldn´t imagine a better partner than IFC Films and we are very excited to see the reactions from the American audiences,” said Rikke Ennis, CEO, Trust Nordisk.
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Liesl Copland at WME Global on behalf of TrustNordisk and the filmmakers.
For Immediate Release
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES ACQUIRES “ANOTHER EARTH”
Specialty Arm Acquires Rights to English Speaking Territories
PARK CITY, UT January 26, 2011 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired rights to English speaking territories for the emotionally charged sci-fi drama ANOTHER EARTH. Directed by Mike Cahill and written by Cahill and Brit Marling, ANOTHER EARTH stars William Mapother, Brit Marling, Jordan Baker, Robin Lord Taylor and Flint Beverage. The film was produced by Hunter Gray of Artists Public Domain, Mike Cahill, Brit Marling and Nicholas Shumaker.
“There are haunting yet touching and beautiful elements in Brit Marling and Mike Cahill’s first feature. Brit’s performance is a revelation,” said Utley and Gilula. “We are excited to be working with such extraordinarily talented filmmakers.”
“We were stunned and provoked by this original new vision of our world,” said Claudia Lewis, Fox Searchlight’s President of Production. “This profound love story and philosophical meditation, set in a real yet future world took our breath away.”
“Fox Searchlight has proven to be the true champion of the auteur filmmaker, and I am honored to work with them and hope this is just the beginning,” said Cahill.
“Artists Public Domain strives to allow filmmakers to realize their creative vision. It has been wonderful to have Another Earth so well received at Sundance and to now be in the hands of Fox Searchlight,” said Gray.
In ANOTHER EARTH, Rhoda Williams (Marling), a bright young woman accepted into MIT’s astrophysics program, aspires to explore the cosmos. A brilliant composer, John Burroughs (Mapother), has just reached the pinnacle of his profession and is about to have a second child. On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, tragedy strikes and the lives of these strangers become irrevocably intertwined.
The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien, Vice President of Acquisitions Ray Strache, Kevin Iwashina of Preferred Content and Graham Taylor, Mark Ankner, Liesl Copeland of WME. Andre Des Rochers of Gray Krauss Des Rochers LLP handled legal on behalf of Artists Public Domain.
Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.
THE GUARD is a Reprisal Films and Element Pictures production in association with Prescience, Aegis Film Fund, UK Film Council and Crescendo Productions and with the participation of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.
I MELT WITH YOU
Park City, UT – January 26, 2011 – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures announced today they have acquired US theatrical rights to Mark Pellington’s I MELT WITH YOU, a kinetic and visceral ensemble film starring Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven, Christian McKay, Carla Gugino and Sasha Grey.
Jane, Lowe, Piven and McKay give bravura, unhinged performances as four friends on a drug and rock n’ roll fueled trip together in Big Sur. Pellington explores themes of masculinity and friendship with a groundbreaking visual style and dizzying post-punk soundtrack. Written by Glenn Porter, the film was produced by Pellington, Norm Reiss and Rob Cowan, and executive produced by Aaron Gilbert, Heidi Levitt and Neil LaBute. “Mark Pellington has made a maverick, stylish and powerful film that resonates for days after viewing,” said Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn. “Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven and Christian McKay give some of the best performances of their entire careers and attention must be paid.”
“I’m ecstatic that our film has found a home for theatrical distribution and thrilled it is a company with people that completely understand what the film is about philosophically and aesthetically,” said Pellington.
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn with Submarine’s Josh Braun and UTA’s Rena Ronson.
SONY PICTURES CLASSICS ACQUIRES
SUNDANCE HIT THE GUARD
TUESDAY, JANUARY 25th — Park City, Utah – Sony Pictures Classics has acquired US and Latin American rights to the action comedy THE GUARD, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh and starring Brendan Gleeson as an unorthodox Irish policeman who joins forces with a straitlaced FBI agent, played by Don Cheadle, to take on an international drug-smuggling gang.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of the producers by Rena Ronson and David Flynn of UTA and Metropolis Film Sales with Sony Pictures Classics.
Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh and starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle as the ill-matched pair of lawmen, THE GUARD also stars Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot, Rory Keenan with Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan and Dominique McElligott, Sarah Greene, Slovenian newcomer Katarina Cas, Pat Shortt and Darren Healy.
THE GUARD is produced by Reprisal’s Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo and Element’s Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with Martin McDonagh, Don Cheadle, Lenore Zerman, Tim Smith, Paul Brett, Ralph Kamp and David Nash as executive producers.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.
Barker and Bernard’s films are among the most prestigious films of all time. They have produced 24 Academy Award® winners (21 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered over 100 Academy Award® nominations (92 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services, and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in more than 100 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found at http://www.sonypictures.com.