TIFF 2014 Acquisitions: TOP FIVE, BEFORE WE GO, STILL ALICE, PAWN SACRIFICE and More

     September 12, 2014

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The Toronto International Film Festival is starting to wrap up, so we’ve got quite a few sales to report.  Here’s what’s coming at a glance:

  • RADiUS took the US rights to Adult Beginners starring Rose Byrne.
  • RADiUS also snatched up the US rights to Chris EvansBefore We Go.
  • Sony Pictures Classics closed a deal for the Julianne Moore-starrer, Still Alice.
  • Saban Films picked up the US rights to American Heist with Hayden Christensen.
  • Bleecker Street snagged Pawn Sacrifice starring Tobey Maguire.
  • Paramount put up $12.5 million for Chris Rock’s Top Five.

Hit the jump for more.

Adult Beginners

adult-beginners-rose-byrne-bobby-cannavaleRADiUS acquired the US rights to Academy Award nominated producer Ross Katz’s feature directorial debut, Adult Beginners, and is planning to release it in the second quarter of 2015.  Here’s the official synopsis:

In the film, a young, narcissistic entrepreneur (Kroll) crashes and burns on the eve of his company’s big launch.  With his entire life in total disarray, he leaves Manhattan to move in with his estranged pregnant sister (Byrne), brother-in-law (Cannavale) and 3-year-old nephew in his suburban childhood home — only to become their nanny.  ADULT BEGINNERS is a comedy about priorities, growing up and beginning again…as an adult.

Before We Go

RADiUS also claimed the US rights for Before We Go and is aiming for a second quarter 2015 release.  The film marks Evans’ first go behind the lens.  He also stars in it alongside Alice Eve.  Here’s the synopsis for Before We Go:

The film follows the journey of two strangers stuck in New York City for the night. Starting as convenient acquaintances, the two soon grow into each other’s most trusted confidants when a night of unexpected adventure forces them to confront their fears and take control of their lives.

Still Alice

still-alice-julianne-mooreSony Pictures Classics is taking the rights to Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s adaptation of the novel Still Alice starring Moore, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish and Alec Baldwin.  The label is planning an awards push for this one so aims to release it for Oscar season.  Here’s the synopsis for Still Alice:

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested. Alice’s struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring.

American Heist

Saban Films has been busy throughout the festival.  The company already nabbed Jon Travolta’s The Forger and Tracers with Taylor Lautner, but now it’s adding Sarik Andreasyan’s action thriller American Heist to the list.  The company is closing a deal for the US distribution rights to the film, but there’s no word on when it’ll be released just yet.  Here’s the synopsis:

James (Hayden Christensen) has a checkered past, but he’s trying to put his life on the straight and narrow.  He has a decent job in an auto shop, plans to start his own business, and there’s even the promise of love on the horizon.  But one day, before his dream can become a reality, he opens his front door to find his older brother Frankie (Adrien Brody), recently released from a ten-year stretch in prison.  Frankie has some money-making strategies of his own, and he needs James to help him one last time – in a spectacularly elaborate bank heist.  Even though it’s Frankie’s influence that James is trying to escape, he finds himself drawn into the unsavory plan due to a combination of guilt, greed and misguided brotherly devotion.

Pawn Sacrifice

pawn-sacrifice-liev-schreiber-tobey-maguireAlso via Deadline, Andrew Karpen’s Bleecker Street just made a low seven-figure deal for Pawn Sacrifice starring Maguire and Liev Schreiber as chess champions Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky.  Karpen and his team plan to release the film next year.  Here’s the synopsis:

American chess phenomenon Bobby Fisher (Tobey Maguire) squares off against his Russian rival Boris Spassky (Live Schreiber) in the 1972 “Match of the Century” in Reykjavik, in this gripping docudrama from director Edward Zwick (Glory and screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises).

Top Five

In the biggest deal of the festival, Paramount Pictures took the worldwide rights to Rock’s Top Five.  Rock wrote, directed and also stars in the film alongside Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer, J.B. Smoove and more.  Here’s the synopsis:

Written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, “TOP FIVE” tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career—and the past—that he’s left behind.

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TIFF Acquisitions, Top Five, Before We Go, Still Alice

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