UPDATE, 12 PM: Sony Pictures Classics has confirmed Deadline’s Sundance scoop that it acquired North American and UK rights to Before Midnight, the Richard Linklater-directed film that captivated fest audiences and continues the relationship between characters played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as the travel the world. The official release appears at the bottom of the original exclusive break.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 10:52 AM: I hear Sony Pictures Classics has closed a Sundance deal for Before Midnight, the third installment of the Richard Linklater-directed series that began with 1995′s Before Sunrise and continued with 2004′s Before Sunset. You don’t get many trilogies at Sundance, but this one premiered to raves last Sunday at Eccles Theatre in the Premiere category, and seven buyers have slowly been nipping at it ever since when they haven’t been distracted by the other auctions. This deal is well into seven-figures for North America and multiple territories including the UK, I hear. It shapes up as one of the big deals of the fest. SPC partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard also bought Kill Your Darlings and Austenland (which was bought by Sony Worldwide Acquisitions), so it was a most productive festival for them.
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are back again as Jesse and Celine and the movie takes place nine years after the last one, in Greece. That’s almost two decades after they met on a train headed to Vienna. Before Sunrise was released by Columbia Pictures, and Before Sunset was released by Warner Independent. Cinetic Media’s John Sloss brokered the deal, which, like every other deal on one of these buzz titles, closed way, way after bedtime, if any of these guys kept daylight hours during these fests.
Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American and UK rights to Richard Linklater’s BEFORE MIDNIGHT, the third installment to BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Like BEFORE SUNSET, the third film is written by Academy Award® nominees Linklater, Hawke and Delpy. Premiering to critical acclaim in the Premieres Section on Sunday evening at the Sundance Film Festival, BEFORE MIDNIGHT has been one of the most talked about films at the festival.
The film is produced by Linklater, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos and Sara Woodhatch and executive produced by Jacob Pechenik, Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer, and John Sloss. The deal was negotiated by SPC and Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.
In BEFORE MIDNIGHT, we meet Celine and Jesse 9 years on. Almost 2 decades have passed since that first meeting on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early 40′s in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.
“In 1991 we were in Sundance with SLACKER and we witnessed the birth of a major American filmmaker. At Sundance 2013 with BEFORE MIDNIGHT, we have further confirmation that Richard Linklater is a film master at the peak of his form. This one has it all as entertainment and as a work of cinematic art. It is a perfect movie made by not one but three auteurs, Rick, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy. This movie will be incredibly successful around the world. And the acquisition is all the sweeter for our being back with Rickand producers Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer and John Sloss,” says Sony Pictures Classics.
Director Richard Linklater adds, “Shooting in Greece was one of my best film experiences ever. This has just been enhanced with the news that we’ve found such a good home with Michael and Tom.”