UPDATE: As Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported from Toronto on Wednesday, TWC was nearing a deal to acquire U.S. and multiple territories on The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers and The Weinstein Company just made it official. See today’s release below the original break.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: In its second big deal of the Toronto Film Festival, The Weinstein Company is near a deal to acquire U.S. and multiple territories on The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers. I hear the deal is around $3 million and covers U.S., Canada, UK and France for the Ned Benson-directed film that stars Jessica Chastain, William Hurt, Viola Davis, James McAvoy, Ciarin Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, Jess Weixler and Nina Arianda. The structure on this one is unusual. It’s the story of a married couple that experiences a difficult time in their relationship, as seen in two films. One is through the eyes of the husband, and the other is from the wife’s perspective. The picture made its debut Monday at the Elgin, and the deal is being brokered by WME Global and the TWC team led by Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser and, as has been the case on most of these deals, they went at it all night.
It’s the second big fest deal for TWC after it spent $7 million and pledged $20 million P&A for the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life? That pic, which stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine, was the biggest deal of the festival, since it was for U.S. rights. The other big deal was Focus paying $7 million for world rights to the Jason Bateman-directed Bad Words.
NEW YORK (September 13, 2013) – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that they are acquiring the U.S., Canadian, UK and French rights to writer/director Ned Benson’s THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY. The film elicits riveting performances from an acclaimed cast led by Academy Award® nominee Jessica Chastain and Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy, and a richly talented supporting cast that includes Academy Award® winner William Hurt, two-time Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis, Isabelle Huppert, Ciarán Hinds, Bill Hader, Nina Arianda, and Jess Weixler. The film is produced by Cassandra Kulukundis, Benson, Chastain, Todd Labarowski and Emanuel Michael and executive produced by Kirk D’Amico, Peter Pastorelli, Brad Coolidge, Melissa Coolidge, Jim Casey and Kim Waltrip. It premiered to critical acclaim on Monday afternoon in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Special Presentation Section.
With his unique vision, writer/director Benson ambitiously captures a complete picture of a relationship in the beautifully relatable portrait of love, empathy and truth that is THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY. Once happily married, Conor (McAvoy) and Eleanor (Chastain), suddenly find themselves as strangers longing to understand each other. Told from two perspectives appropriately named, HIM and HER, the film opens a window into the subjectivity of relationships by exploring both sides of one couple’s story as they try to reclaim the life and love they once knew.
“THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY has been a long and incredible journey for me, Cassandra, Jessica and everyone else who worked so tirelessly to get it made, and I am so happy for it to have found a home at The Weinstein Company. It is a privilege to work with the Weinsteins as my film school has been comprised of so many films they have brought to the world. Their love of the film(s) ensures the project will have the chance to find the exposure and audience we’ve hoped for. From premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival to finding our TWC partners, this has been more than a dream come true,” said writer/director Benson.
Commented TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein: “This film was one of the most buzzed about of the festival, and we know that audiences all over will fall just as much in love with James and Jessica’s breathtaking performances as we did. Ned Benson has made a masterwork here with a very unique touch, and we’re thrilled to be on board.”
The deal for THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY was negotiated by WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers, and Attorney Jamie Feldman on behalf of the financiers, with David Glasser, Dan Guando, Negeen Yazdi, Robert Walak and Michal Steinberg for TWC. Myriad Pictures will continue to handle sales on the film in the rest of the world.