If IFC Films could buy U.S. rights to Lars von Trier's controversial Antichrist out of Cannes, they can do the same with Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me, which has similarly ignited a raging debate out of Sundance over its violence toward women. In the film (adapted by John Curran from the 1952 Jim Thompson novel), Casey Affleck's sociopathic Texas sheriff's deputy beats two women to a pulp with his fists. Talk about pulp fiction.
Variety reports that IFC paid $1.5 million for U.S. rights, which is steep for IFC, which has done prior business with producer Andrew Eaton and foreign sales agent Wild Bunch.
Distribs who I talked to said they would ask Winterbottom for cuts before considering a pick-up. But IFC has no such plans. "For now, we are planning on uncut theatrical and vod," writes one IFC executive in an e-mail, "but we still have to talk with michael and producers." The film will also screen at the Berlin Film Festival in February. Winterbottom's other Sundance entry, The Shock Doctrine, a documentary adaptation of the book by Naomi Klein, is on video-on-demand at Sundance Selects.
Mark Olsen defends Winterbottom.