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The Dallas Buyers Club Joins the Cannes Selling Fray

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 11, 2011 at 11:00AM

The big foreign sales companies hawking their wares to Croisette buyers are operating on the assumption that the movies they are selling will get made. Well, some will, some won't. Distributors all over the world are deluged in the weeks before Cannes with scripts--now it's a flood. They have to cut through the sales rhetoric and decipher the template and possible casting--most names are "attached" until something better comes along--for what could be a commercial movie, or not.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The big foreign sales companies hawking their wares to Croisette buyers are operating on the assumption that the movies they are selling will get made. Well, some will, some won't. Distributors all over the world are deluged in the weeks before Cannes with scripts--now it's a flood. They have to cut through the sales rhetoric and decipher the template and possible casting--most names are "attached" until something better comes along--for what could be a commercial movie, or not.

For example, Content is selling international rights to real-life drama The Dallas Buyer's Club, an older tough-sell that now has Matthew McConaughey and Hilary Swank attached, for director Jean-Marc Vallée (The Young Victoria). The movie was once set up with Marc Forster, Brad Pitt, and others. Universal let it go.

Thompson on Hollywood

Written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack (Meet Bill, The Brothers Grimm: Snow White), The Dallas Buyer's Club is based on a true story about AIDS-infected electrician Ron Woodroof's fight against the monolithic U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He wound up exploring underground pharmacies to prolong his life afer being told to go home and die.

Robbie Brenner and Rachel Rothman-Winter will produce with Nathan Ross. CAA is repping the film in North America.

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Headliners, Cannes, Independents, Drama, Hilary Swank


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.