Plus IFC Take Genre Film 'The Incident' & Abel Ferrera's '4.44: Last Day On Earth'; Sundance Selects Nabs Michael Winterbottom's 'Trishna'
Many sites have been running stories about the initial buying drought at TIFF, but the situation looks as if it's turning around considerably as more deals are being made.
Right off the bat is The Playlist-approved "Wuthering Heights," directed by Andrea Arnold of "Fish Tank" fame, which according to indieWire has been snatched up by Oscilloscope Laboratories. This updated adaptation of Emily Bronte's literary masterpiece bowed to stellar reviews at Venice a couple weeks back, and caught the eye of Oscilloscope's David Fenkel at TIFF this past weekend. Oscilloscope has also distributed the recent Playlist favorite "Meek's Cutoff," and has acquired quite a few festival gems, championing films like "Bellflower" and the upcoming "We Need To Talk About Kevin." The studio is looking for a 2012 release date.
For fans of the 2009 film "Humpday," rest assured knowing that director Lynn Shelton's feature follow-up "Your Sister's Sister" has been acquired for distribution by IFC Films. Variety is reporting that Shelton's picture, which again stars "Humpday" lead Mark Duplass, this time as a man mourning the death of his of his brother, also sees Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt alongside him as his platonic best friend and sister respectively. Shelton's "Humpday" experienced a similar festival success, despite its seemingly taboo subject matter. Let's hope Shelton's latest, a love triangle dramedy, lives up to the standard of her previous effort. You can look for it next summer.
IFC's TIFF shopping spree continues, as Screen Daily report that the studio has also acquired the North American rights to director Alexandre Courtes' "The Incident." Starring "Hellboy" actor Rupert Evans, the film follows a group of thieves who are mistakenly locked in with patients at an insane asylum on a stormy night. So we guess this is going to be somewhere in the wheelhouse of "Assault on Precinct 13" meets "Shutter Island?" Anyways, the film played at TIFF's Midnight Madness, and is being released directly through IFC Midnight's VOD channel.
IFC has also picked up the latest film from original "Bad Lieutenant" director (and Werner Herzog-hater) Abel Ferrara, the apocalyptic drama "4:44 Last Day on Earth," according to Variety. Reviews on this one seem to be mixed, but we're game for anything from the Big Apple auteur as long as it's more "King of New York," and less "Mary." "4:44" chronicles the last hours on earth of one couple in New York City, played by Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh. It's next set to play the New York Film Festival, and we're guessing it'll have some sort of theatrical rollout from there.
Also finding a home is Michael Winterbottom's "Trishna," starring Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed. An adaptation of Thomas Hardy‘s novel, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” (updated and relocated to India), the film tells the story of the doomed relationship between Jay (Ahmed) and Trishna (Pinto), the former the son of a property developer, the latter the daughter of an auto rickshaw owner. Sundance Selects has landed the rights to the film, and no word yet on when it will hit theaters, but it's probably a safe bet for 2012 release.
Finally, the highly touted and much anticipated "The Lady" will be making its way to theaters courtesy of a deal between Cohen Media Group and Europacorp, reports Deadline. Director Luc Besson's latest, which stars thespians David Thewlis and Michelle Yeoh, follows pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and her writer husband Michael Aris's relationship after Aung has been locked away for years. The film apparently received a standing ovation after it's screening at TIFF on Monday, and much of the praise its garnered has been aimed at the film's leads. Looks as if Cohen Media Group is hoping to have a few gold statues in their hands soon, as "The Lady" is now slated for an Oscar-qualifying release come winter, with a wider release expected in 2012. This is great news for fans of director Luc Besson, for whom it feels as if he hasn't directed a major international hit in some time, despite having producing actioners like "Taken" and the recent "Colombiana."