In The News
Lionsgate Acquires US Distribution Rights To “American Ultra”
Posted in Company Updates on March 1,2014
The appetite for scripts and partially finished films is soaring. Lionsgate is tying up a deal today to pay $7 million to pre-buy U.S. distribution rights to American Ultra, the action comedy that begins shooting in New Orleans in five weeks with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart starring for Project X director Nima Nourizadeh. In the script by Chronicle writer Max Landis, Eisenberg plays a stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend (Stewart) is upended when his past catches up with him, putting him the crosshairs of a government operation bent on wiping him out. It’s a co-production between A Likely Story and Circle Of Confusion, with Anthony Bregman, David Alpert, Britton Rizo, Kevin Scott Frakes of Palmstar Media Capital and Raj Brinder Singh of Merced Media Partners producing.
The buzz on this one has been building since Berlin, and I thought a deal might be made there. This rivals the record $7 million Berlin deal that The Weinstein Company paid for U.S. rights to the Morten Tyldum-directed The Imitation Game, the film that sold based on script and promo reel about WWII war hero Alan Turing, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley starring. The same team at CAA brokered this giant American Ultra deal with Lionsgate after the agency packaged the film and arranged the financing. While many felt that the results of the Berlin market were underwhelming, sometimes those festivals need to be evaluated by results that are not immediately evident. It is becoming more common for dialogue on big films like this one to begin at Berlin. Some of the deals fall in place shortly after, or during the Cannes Film Festival in May. Clearly, studios need to fill slots and haven’t been developing enough, so strong prices should continue to be paid for material and packaged pictures like American Ultra.
Universal’s Term Life has recruited two new castmembers to join the crime thriller starring Vince Vaughn and Hailee Steinfeld. The pic tracks Nick Barrow (Vaughn), who takes his estranged daughter (Steinfeld) on the lam when a heist goes south and he takes out a life insurance... Read more »
Philip Seymour Hoffman has long been attached to direct the film from a Black List script by Keith Bunin. Exclusive Media has come aboard to handle international rights, and will launch the project to foreign buyers at Berlin’s upcoming European Film Market. Adams will... Read more »
A24 has closed a deal for domestic distribution rights to Lynn Shelton’s “Laggies,” the company announced Sunday morning.Keira Knightley, Chloe Moretz and Sam Rockwell star in the film, which will receive a summer theatrical release from... Read more »
Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg are teaming up for American Ultra, an action comedy from Nima Nourizadeh, the director of the surprise hit comedy Project X. Max Landis, who wrote the hit sci-fi found-footage movie Chronicle, penned the script for Ultra, which is being produced... Read more »
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