Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Classics has closed a 7-figure deal for U.S. and Latin American distribution rights to The Guard, the Irish action comedy written and directed by John Michael McDonagh. The film premiered last Thursday and multiple distributors have been circling since.

Brendan Gleeson plays a local cop who begrudgingly assists an FBI agent (Don Cheadle) who is chasing the members of an international drug smuggling ring that has taken up residence in the Irish town. McDonagh, the brother of In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh (the pic’s executive producer), makes his feature debut. It’s the third deal of the festival for SPC partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, but the first one they made on the ground at Park City. They are distributing Morgan Spurlock’s documentary POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. And made a sight-unseen preemptive acquisition of the Jeff Nichols-directed drama Take Shelter, the drama that stars Michael Shannon as a small town man who builds a storm cellar in his yard after dreams tell him that an imminent apocalyptic event. Jessica Chastain plays his wife. That drama premiered today at Eccles Theater and it has received glowing reviews.

UTA’s Rena Ronson and David Flynn brokered the deal with Metropolis Film Sales.