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‘Knuckle’ Doc Acquired By ARC And XLrator

EXCLUSIVE: ARC Entertainment and XLrator Media announced that they have acquired North American rights to the Sundance documentary Knuckle. Ian Palmer’s doc was filmed over 12 years and is about two Irish families who settle a longstanding dispute by periodically engaging in bare-knuckle bouts, focusing on two brothers, James Quinn and Michael McDonagh. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where its remake rights sparked interest from several parties; HBO landed the project, which is in development, with Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh adapting it into a drama series. The North American deal was negotiated by CAA on behalf of the filmmakers and by Barry Gordon for ARC and XLrator.

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Sundance: HBO Closes Remake Deal For Irish Brawl Doc ‘Knuckle’ With Rough House Partners

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: HBO is closing a remake rights deal for Knuckle, the Ian Palmer-directed documentary at Sundance about two Irish families that settle a longstanding dispute by periodically engaging in bare knuckle bouts. Rough House Pictures partners Danny McBride, Jody Hill and David Gordon Green are attached, and HBO will turn the concept into a TV series, I hear. Numerous parties circled — word is they included companies of Gerard Butler, Robert Downey Jr., and Vin Diesel, but Rough House’s Matt Reilly came to Sundance and won by knockout. Rough House produces Eastbound & Down at HBO.

For two weeks, interest has been high for the remake rights of a film that debuted at Sundance last Friday. After bootlegs of an unfinished version began making the rounds, CAA pressed copies for the interested suitors. In the documentary that was produced by Rise Films’ Teddy Leifer, the fighters square off and beat each other to bloody pulps, the victor winning family pride and bragging rights. It’s not exactly clear why the families hate each other—hints are it has to do with a dispute over a woman—but the bouts are preceded by taunt-filled videos sent by one family to the other. The film took 12 years to shoot, and focuses on two brothers, James Quinn and Michael McDonagh.

Domestic distribution on the film is still being worked out. Content International bought international … Read More »

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SUNDANCE: Foreign Deal For Doc ‘Knuckle’

Content International has picked up foreign rights to Ian Palmer’s Knuckle, about bare-knuckle fighting among Irish gypsy clans called Travellers. The film plays in Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary Competition and had its first screening on Friday. Knuckle has been the subject of remake talks for some time, and a deal on that front could be imminent as well.

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Sundance: ‘Knuckle’ Documentary Creates Remake Rights Intrigue For Brawling Saga

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While Hollywood will be in a heavy rotation of Oscar screeners, another in-demand picture for weekend viewing will be Knuckle. That is a  documentary that won’t premiere until January 21 in competition at Sundance, but has created a heightened advanced interest for remake rights to a film being described as Fight Club meets Sons of Anarchy. The Ian Palmer-directed doc chronicles an enduring violent feud between two rival families in Ireland that periodically leads to a bare-knuckle bout with a member of each family. The fighters square off and beat each other to bloody pulps, the victor winning family pride and bragging rights. It’s not exactly clear why the families hate each other—hints are it has to do with a dispute over a woman—but the bouts are preceded by taunt-filled videos sent by one family to the other. The film took 12 years to shoot, and focuses on two brothers, James Quinn and Michael McDonagh. CAA, which is selling distribution, held a screening Wednesday for talent clients that had asked to see it. Suddenly, everyone wanted it, intrigued with turning it into a drama that’s an allegory for any number of geopolitical clashes between countries based on disputes so old that current combatants can barely remember why they hate each other. Though the the reps’ phone sheets filled up with calls from studios, producers, actors and directors in both feature and TV, CAA planned to let the interest level … Read More »

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