EXCLUSIVE: After opening Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life in the U.S., Fox Searchlight presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula have acquired the U.K. rights to the film from Bill Pohlad’s River Road Entertainment, which financed the film. They’ve dated …
When I met with Fox Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley at the Cannes Film Festival, it seemed clear that they were not going to take part in one of the most aggressive acquisitions market that Cannes has seen in years. But not only did they walk away with the Palme d’Or prestige badge that will help Terrence Malick’s visionary The Tree of Life find its way when Searchlight releases it in theaters beginning Friday, they also greenlit the first film by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris since Little Miss Sunshine. The new film, He Loves Me, is a reunion. Besides being back in the Searchlight fold, they’ve set as star Paul Dano, whose career was launched by Sunshine. Dano will be paired alongside his girlfriend, Zoe Kazan, who wrote the script. The film also reunites Dayton and Faris with Sunshine producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa. Jeff Bridges is being courted to play another role. After Little Miss Sunshine won two Oscars and was a Best Picture nominee, Dayton and Faris were courted like crazy by studios and became attached to a number of projects that didn’t pan. It has been five years since the release of that film, but they start production in July.
LOS ANGELES, CA April 20, 2011 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired rights to English speaking territories, including North America, United Kingdom and Australia, for the suspenseful drama SOUND OF MY VOICE theatrical release. Directed by Zal Batmanglij and written by Batmanglij and Brit Marling, SOUND OF MY VOICE stars Brit Marling, Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius and Avery Pohl. The film was produced by Hans Ritter, Shelley Surpin and Brit Marling.
“Zal Batmanglij’s first feature offers a truly unique voice in filmmaking with a tense and compelling tale. Brit Marling amazed us once again with her stunningly deft performance,” said Utley and Gilula. “We are thrilled to be working with such exceptional talent.”
“‘Sound of My Voice’ could not have found a better home than at Fox Searchlight. I’m inspired by their brave choices and unwavering support of filmmakers. I’m excited to be part of the family,” said Batmanglij
In SOUND OF MY VOICE, Peter (Denham) and Lorna (Vicius), a young Los Angeles couple, infiltrate the underworld of a cult led by an enigmatic young woman named Maggie (Marling). Intent on exposing her as a charlatan and freeing the group members from her spell, Peter and Lorna start to question their objective as they unravel the mysteries of Maggie’s past.
Fox Searchlight has acquired the Terrence Malick-directed The Tree of Life from Bill Pohlad’s River Road Entertainment. Though the film might be an awards season magnet with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn starring, the distributor is flush with those kinds of films already, and will release in 2011. At the Toronto International Film Festival, Searchlight will fete 127 Hours, Black Swan, Conviction and Never Let Me Go.