First Projects Snapped Up From Sundance | Film News
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival kicked off last week and studios have begun flexing their financial muscle in order to acquire their favoured projects.
Following a number of bids, new distribution banner, Neon, has acquired the rights to Ingrid Goes West, one of the breakout films of the festival so far. The film stars Elizabeth Olson And Aubrey Plaza and is directed by first time director, Matt Spicer.
The film “follows Ingrid Thorburn (Plaza) a mentally unstable young woman who becomes obsessed with Taylor Sloane (Olsen), a social media “influencer” with a seemingly-perfect life. When Ingrid decides to drop everything, and move to the west coast to befriend Taylor in real life, her behavior turns unsettling and increasingly dangerous”.
Also, in one of the biggest deals in Sundance history, Amazon Studios has landed The Big Sick for approximately $12 million. The romcom is directed by Michael Showalter and produced by Judd Apatow.
It “follows a Pakistani-American comedian whose relationship with his girlfriend is nearly derailed over cultural differences and a health crisis”. The film was written by Kumail Nanjiani who also stars alongside Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant and Kurt Braunohler.
Amazon streaming rival, Netflix, have also been busy, picking up Kitty Green‘s hybrid drama/documentary Casting JonBenet before the festival even began, and following that up with the acquisition of another documentary, Jeff Orlowski‘s Chasing Coral.
Comedy, Fun Mom Dinner, was also acquired by both Netflix and Momentum Pictures before the festival began, while A24, having been perhaps the most reliable studio in terms of quality in recent years, might have landed another hit by picking up David Lowery‘s A Ghost Story, which stars Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck.
The latest deal to go through as of writing is for Brett Haley‘s broadly titled The Hero, which has been acquired by The Orchard for around $3 million. The film stars Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman and Katherine Ross.
Elliott “plays a former Western film icon, living a comfortable existence lending his golden voice to advertisements and smoking weed. He receives a lifetime achievement award and a cancer diagnosis that prompts him to reexamine his past. A chance meeting with a sardonic comic has him looking to the future”.
Expect many more deals as the festival heads into its second week.