Deadline revealed September 30 that Sony Pictures Classics would acquire Hysteria, the film that covers the accidental discovery of the vibrator. SPC has just issued this official announcement of the deal:
NEW YORK (November 10, 2011) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all US and South African rights to HYSTERIA. The film is directed by Tanya Wexler from a script by the team of Stephen Dyer and Jonah Lisa Dyer. A trio of women produced HYSTERIA- Forthcoming Films’ Sarah Curtis (MANSFIELD PARK, HER MAJESTY MRS. BROWN), Informant Media’s Judy Cairo (CRAZY HEART), and Beachfront Films’ Tracey Becker (FINDING NEVERLAND).
The film stars Academy Award® nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (CRAZY HEART, NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS) and Hugh Dancy (ADAM, CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC) alongside Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett, and Felicity Jones and had its World Premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
HYSTERIA, a mischievously inspired romantic comedy, is based on the surprising truth of how Mortimer Granville came up with the world’s first electro-mechanical vibrator in the name of medical science.
“HYSTERIA is meant to be both funny and smart. It’s really a movie that says you are in charge of your own happiness,” says Director Wexler. “Sony Classics is the perfect company to unleash HYSTERIA into American movie theatres. They understand ‘smart and funny’ movies better than anyone else out there. They are just what the doctor ordered.”
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Sony Pictures Classics is near a deal to distribute Hysteria, the Tanya Wexler-directed romantic comedy based on the surprising truth of how Mortimer Granville came up with the world’s first electro-mechanical vibrator as an advance in medical science. The film created a — wait for it — buzz when it premiered September 15 at Roy Thomson Hall. Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Felicity Jones star in the film. Samuel Goldwyn Films and Millennium also chased the title. Sony Pictures Classics partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have this evening’s opening-night film of the New York Film Festival with the premiere of Carnage, the Roman Polanski-directed feature adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play. Polanski shot the film in Paris, with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly starring. Hysteria was repped by Cassian Elwes and Elle Driver.
EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Tanya Wexler. She’s the director of Hysteria, the 2011 Toronto Film Festival drama about the invention of the vibrator. The buzz is that film is in hot pursuit by suitors that include Sony Pictures Classics, Samuel Goldwyn Films and Millennium. Wexler had met with the major agencies while in Toronto, where her film had its world premiere last Thursday. She previously directed the indies Finding North and Ball in the House, and continues to be managed by Circle of Confusion and repped by UK-based agency Curtis Brown. Hysteria stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Rupert Everett, Jonathan Pryce and Felicity Jones.
Hysteria is Tanya Wexler’s UK romantic comedy that revolves (among other things) around the invention of the vibrator during the Victorian age — apparently the device was used as a science-based antidote to certain mental maladies before it was discovered to have, well, ancillary value. Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal star along with Rupert Everett, Jonathan Pryce and Felicity Jones in the film, which will be looking for distribution at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it just won a Gala Presentation invite.
EXCLUSIVE: Walden Media has has set a May 23 start in Pittsburgh on Still I Rise, the working title of a drama that will star Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis. Daniel Barnz, who most recently directed Beastly, will helm the film. Barnz recently rewrote the Brin Hill screenplay. Mark Johnson is producing through his Gran Via Productions banner. The film will be distributed domestically by 20th Century Fox.
The drama is about two mothers who channel frustration into action and join forces to transform an inner-city public school. Inspired by current events, the film takes aim at the crisis of public education in America. Walden’s Michael Bostick and Morgan Palmer are overseeing the project. Gyllenhaal just completed the Tanya Wexler-directed Hysteria. Davis, who won the Tony last year for Fences, just wrapped the DreamWorks adaptation of the Kathryn Stockett novel The Help and is shooting the Stephen Daldry-directed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Barnz is repped by WME, Gyllenhaal by CAA and Schiff Company and Davis by APA and Principal Entertainment.