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SPWA Acquires ‘The Bronze’

By | Wednesday July 9, 2014 @ 9:15am PDT
Mike Fleming

SPWA Acquires ‘The Bronze’Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired The Bronze, the Bryan Buckley-directed comedy scripted by Melissa and Winston Rauch. The former stars with Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, and Saturday Night Live‘s Cecily Strong. Rauch plays a foul-mouthed former bronze medalist in gymnastics whose local celeb status is threatened by an upstart tumbler. The Duplass Brothers shingle is behind the film, which is in production.

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Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Nabs International Rights To Jack Plotnick’s ‘Space Station 76′

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 9:08am PST

Sony-Pictures-Worldwide-Acquisitions__140208020736Space Station 76 premieres Saturday at SXSW 2014, as part of the Visions section, in Austin. Today, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions announced they have acquired all international rights on the pic from writer/director Jack Plotnick. The film stars Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Matt Bomer, Marisa Coughlan, Kylie Rogers, Kali Rocha, Jerry O’Connell and Keir Dullea and was written by Jack Plotnick, Jennifer Cox, Sam Pancake, Kali Rocha and Michael Stoyanov.

Space Station 76 is a comedic drama about a group of people (and several robots) living on a space station in a 1970’s-version of the future. When a new Assistant Captain arrives, she inadvertently ignites tensions among the crew, prompting them to confront their darkest secrets. Barely contained lust, jealousy, and anger all bubble to the surface, becoming just as dangerous as the asteroid that’s heading right for them. Read More »

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Berlin: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Picks Up ‘The End Of The Tour’, Starring Jason Segel & Jesse Eisenberg

Berlinale 2014 badgeA week after Kilburn Media came aboard to finance The End Of The Tour, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has picked up rights for multiple territories to the pic at Berlin. Jason Segel stars Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitionsas Infinite Jest author David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008 during a book tour at the start of his fame. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky, who accompanied Wallace on the tour. Along the way, jealousy and competition emerge between the two writers as they discuss women, depression and the pros and cons of fame. The film is directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), and David Kanter and Matt DeRoss are producing for Anonymous Content with Modern Man Films’ James Dahl. Manuel and O’Neal will produce for Kilburn. Anonymous Content’s Paul Green is exec producing. Shooting is expected to begin soon. The newly launched sales and finance company Fortitude International is selling the film at the European Film Market.

Related: Berlin: After A Decade-Long Bro-Fest, Kevin Connolly Explores ‘The Wright Girls’ As Director & Tubthumper

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Sundance: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions, Sony Pictures Worldwide Pay $3.5 Million For ‘Skeleton Twins’

Mike Fleming

skeltwinsIn separate deals that add up to $3.5 million and likely the biggest total so far for a film at the Sundance Film Festival, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions bought domestic rights, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions bought the rest of the world on The Skeleton Twins, the Craig Johnson-directed film that stars Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell and Kathleen Rose Perkins. Former Saturday Night Live co-stars Hader and Wiig play estranged twins who reunite and look back over their lives after they cheat death on the same day. Lionsgate/Roadside takes U.S., SPWA gets other worldwide rights. They plan to release it late summer. This gives Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions a shot at redemption after Robert Redford singled them out for not pushing him for Oscars for All Is Lost.

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608I’ve heard strong reaction for a breakout turn by Hader, who plays a suicidal sibling in a role that is way more serious than the characters he became known for playing expertly on SNL. The film is produced by Stephanie Langhoff, Jennifer Lee and Jacob Pechenik, and the film got its first screening last Saturday at the Library Theater. ICM and UTA brokered the deal for the film that is in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.

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Sundance: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Nabs International Rights To Fest Opener ‘Whiplash’

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 9:06pm PST

whipl__140117002425Park City, UT (January 16, 2014) – Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) has acquired rights to several international territories to this year’s 2014 Sundance Film Festival opening night feature film, WHIPLASH, starring J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller. Territories acquired include: UK, Scandinavia, Benelux, Eastern Europe (ex CIS), Greece, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Latin America.

Related: Fleming On 2014 Sundance Forecast: Thriving Indie Biz Makes Appetite Strong; Un-Commercial Slate Could Limit Big Deals

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608The deal was made by SPWA’s Michael Helfand, Jon Freedberg and Chan Phung and international sales agency Sierra/Affinity on behalf of Bold Films. Directed and written by Damien Chazelle (Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench), WHIPLASH is adapted from a short film that won Sundance’s jury award for fiction in 2013 (also written and directed by Chazelle). Producers are Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, Michel Litvak and David Lancaster; with Jason Reitman, Gary Michael Walters and Couper Samuelson executive producing. Bold Films financed the movie.

Related: 2014 Sundance: Fest Films With Highest Wanna-See From Buyers

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Sony’s Faith-Based AFFIRM Films Sets Motocross Biopic ‘Kicking Up Dirt’ With Andy Fickman Directing

By | Tuesday December 3, 2013 @ 5:16pm PST

kicking up dirtTrue-story sports saga Kicking Up Dirt is gearing up at Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions-based AFFIRM Films, with Parental Guidance‘s Andy Fickman set to direct. The tale of four-time Women’s Motocross Association champion Ashley Fiolek, deaf since birth, is based on Fiolek’s autobiography, which she co-wrote with Caroline Ryder. Like AFFIRM’s 2011 real-life pic Soul Surfer, Kicking Up Dirt tracks the inspirational journey of a female athlete up against the odds. In this case the Oops Doughnuts production will follow Fiolek’s rise to become the youngest WMA champion at age 18, winner of two consecutive X Games gold medals, and the first female factory rider for Honda Red Bull Racing. Kristin Rusk Robinson and Ian Deichtman (Life As We Know It, TV’s Parenthood) are scripting. Oops Doughnuts’ Fickman and Betsy Sullenger are producing, and Rich Peluso will oversee for AFFIRM Films. Fiolek is repped by WME. Robinson and Deichtman are repped by Verve and Anonymous Content. Fickman and Sullenger are repped by WME, Management 360 and attorney Adam Kaller.

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AFM: SPWA Takes Key Territories On Emma Watson Drama ‘Your Voice In My Head’

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired key international rights to lit adaptation Your Voice In My Head, set to star Harry Potter‘s Emma Watson. Francesca Gregorini directs the drama about a young bipolar English woman living in New York and the selfless psychiatrist who saves her life, adapted from Emma Forrest’s NY Times bestseller. International Film Trust, repping sales, made the deal with SPWA for UK, Australia/New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Latin America. IFT’s Christian de Gallegos negotiated the multi-territory deal with Michael Helfand, EVP of Business Affairs, Chan Phung, VP of Acquisitions, and Jon Freedberg, VP of Business Development on behalf of SPWA. IFT’s additional sales on the pic include South Korea to Sookie, Turkey to Kalinos, Switzerland to Praesens, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan to PT Parkit, Singapore to Shaw, China to HGC and the Middle East to Shooting Stars. Filming begins in early 2014. The film is produced by Alison Owen and Michael Benaroya for Benaroya Pictures with Ruby’s Faye Ward executive producing. CAA is repping domestic sales.

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Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Nabs Elizabeth Olsen Starrer ‘Therese’

The Elizabeth Olsen-starring period pic has been acquired by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) for territories including the UK, Germany, Austria, and Latin America. Exclusive Media announced the deal today from Toronto. Scandinavia and Benelux are also repped in the multi-territory pact on the lit adaptation written and directed by Charlie Stratton from Émile Zola’s novel Therese Raquin. Oscar Isaac, Tom Felton and Jessica Lange also star in the romantic drama-thriller about a sexually repressed woman who embarks on a love affair with tragic consequences. Therese will open stateside in 2014 via Roadside Attractions. Exclusive Media’s Alex Walton negotiated the deal with Michael Helfand, Chan Phung, and Jon Freedberg on behalf of SPWA.

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Sony Pictures Worldwide Nabs Bryan Cranston, Logan Marshall-Green Pic ‘Cold Comes The Night’

Alice Eve, Bryan Cranston, and Logan Marshall-Green star in director Tze Chun’s Cold Comes The Night, which Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions picked up for domestic and international. Chun (Children of Invention) co-wrote and directed the pic about a motel owner (Eve) taken hostage by a nearly blind criminal (Cranston) as he attempts to retrieve a cash package from a dirty cop (Marshall-Green). Read More »

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Cannes: Focus Features International Awash In ‘Black Sea’ Deals

In a multi-territory deal, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition has acquired Germany, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Latin America on Focus‘ Jude Law-starrer Black Sea. Kevin Macdonald is directing the film about a submarine captain on a risky hunt for sunken treasure. FFI also sealed a deal with BackUp Media which invested against rights in France, Benelux and French-speaking Switzerland. Other territories sold include Australia and New Zealand (eOne), China, CIS, Israel and South Africa.

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Berlin: Sony Pictures Worldwide Takes Multiple Territories On JFK Pic ‘Parkland’

Exclusive Media has closed a deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions for Parkland in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Latin America. The hot EFM title, which has Open Road in talks to distribute domestically, recounts the events at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital on November 22, 1963. It’s produced by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, Exclusive Media and The American Film Company. Bill Paxton is also a producer. Peter Landesman, who wrote the script, is making his directing debut here. Cast includes Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver, Paul Giamatti, Jackie Earle Haley, Colin Hanks, Ron Livingston, Mark Duplass and Tom Welling. Foreign sales were also completed in Australia and New Zealand (Roadshow), France (Metropolitan), Italy (RAI), Israel (United King) and Hong Kong (Golden Harvest), among others. The SPWA deal was negotiated by Alex Walton for Exclusive and Michael Helfand, Joe Matukewicz and Jon Freedberg on behalf of SPWA.

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Sundance: ‘Austenland’ To Sony WorldWide Acquisitions For North Of $4 Million; Sony Pictures Classics To Release In U.S.

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Just got an update on Austenland. The deal is north of $4 million, midway between $4 million and $5 million, and Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in the summer, and they will rely heavily on producer (and Twilight Saga author) Stephenie Meyer, Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale, along with star Keri Russell to promote it and make this a chick flick extravaganza.

EARLIER, BREAKING: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has closed on the Keri Russell-starrer Austenland. It’s a surprising outcome, and the deal numbers I’m hearing are north of $4 million for worldwide rights. Sony Pictures Classics will release in the U.S. The Jerusha Hess-directed film about a Jane Austen fanatic is produced by Twilight Saga‘s Stephenie Meyer. Read More »

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‘Insidious’ Sequel Set For Aug 30, 2013

The cast, writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan are returning for Insidious Chapter 2, which FilmDistrict will release August 30, 2013. The first horror pic, released in April 2011, was one of the most profitable films of that year, grossing $97 million worldwide on a budget of $1.5 million. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions bought U.S. rights to the sequel with FilmDistrict and will handle ancillary U.S. rights and distribute in some overseas territories. Alliance Films is financing and distributing in Canada, the UK and Spain. Jason Blum, who produced Insidious, is producing through his Blumhouse Productions. Brian Kavanaugh Jones, Oren Peli, Steven Schneider, and Charles Layton are executive producing the pic, which is set to begin production January 15 in Los Angeles. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne reprise their roles in the movie, about a couple and their son, confronting the demons that possess the young boy.

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Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Buys Into Agatha Christie’s ‘Crooked House’

By | Monday July 9, 2012 @ 6:19pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Crooked House Movie SonySony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired U.S. and Canada rights, along with select international territories, on Crooked House, the Neil LaBute-directed adaptation of the Agatha Christie’s murder mystery novel that is being made by Ealing Metro International. Script is by Gosford Park and Downton Abbey scribe Julian Fellowes, Tim Rose Price and LaBute. “It’s been far too long since we’ve seen Agatha Christie’s work on the big screen,” LaBute said. “Crooked House is one of her best and most surprising murder mysteries. It’s the perfect title with which to bring a whole new audience to Christie, while at the same time delivering a wonderfully suspenseful experience to her legions of existing fans.” Shooting will start in the fall in London, with Brilliant Films’ Joe Abrams and Rory Gilmartin producing with Marc Samuelson of Samuelson Productions.

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Sony Worldwide Acquires Aussie-Set Thriller ‘Deception’

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.

Sony Deception MovieSony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired U.S. rights to Deception, an action thriller starring Cuba Gooding Jr and Emmanuelle Vaugier that started shooting this week on Queensland’s Gold Coast. It’s the 42nd film directed by the Los Angeles-based Brian Trenchard-Smith. Vaugier plays a U.S. reporter on the trail of the men who killed her husband at a marina, with Gooding playing a laconic FBI agent. The script is by Canadian Kraig Wenman, and Voltage Pictures is handling international sales. “Deception is another of my genre cocktails blending an action suspense thriller with a whodunit,” said Trenchard-Smith, who started his career in Australia on films such as The Man From Hong Kong, Stunt Rock, BMX Bandits and Turkey Shoot. “It’s great to shoot the Gold Coast as the Gold Coast and not Florida for a change.”

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Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Lands Offshore Rights To Spike Jonze, David O Russell Pics

Mike Fleming

David O Russell American BullshitSpike Jonze Sony MovieEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has made a deal with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures for international rights on two untitled film projects that will be directed by Spike Jonze and David O Russell, respectively. As she often does with auteur fare, Ellison stepped up to fully fund both films, as she did with the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed The Master, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. Read More »

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Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Acquires Sundance Pic ‘The First Time’

Mike Fleming

Culver City, CA (March 21, 2012) – Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) announced today they have acquired all U.S. rights and Canadian ancillary rights to Jonathan Kasdan’s teen romancer and 2012 Sundance Film Festival crowd pleaser THE FIRST TIME, produced by Friends with Benefits’ producers Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer.

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SPWA Pre-Buys Rights To Michael Cera-Juno Temple Vacation Thriller

By | Friday February 17, 2012 @ 10:29am PST

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions pre-bought rights in the U.S. and other territories for the untitled Sebastian Silva thriller starring Michael Cera (Superbad), Juno Temple (Dirty Girl), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) and Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace). The film is written and directed by Silva, whose film The Maid won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes two years ago. SPWA’s deal includes rights in Canada, Latin America, Scandinavia, South Africa and Eastern Europe. The story revolves around a young American woman (Temple) vacationing with friends in a remote part of Chile. There, she begins to mentally unravel and enters into a world of disturbing landscapes and crushing terror. The project is currently in pre-production with principal photography slated for early this year. Read More »

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Sony Pictures WW Acquisitions And Samuel Goldwyn Pay $2+M For ‘Robot & Frank’

By | Wednesday January 25, 2012 @ 4:33pm PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Samuel Goldwyn bought the Sundance film Robot & Frank. I’m told they paid north of $2 million for North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Goldwyn releases domestically and SPWAG releases abroad. Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Peter Saarsgard, Jeremy Sisto and Jeremy Strong star. Langella plays a retired thief in the near future who gets a robot, which enables him to woo a local librarian and get back to thieving. Jake Schreier directed and Christopher Ford wrote the script.

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