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Conspirator, Submarine among flurry of deals at Toronto

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have acquired US rights to Robert Redford’s The Conspirator on a frenetic day of deal-making that included Anchor Bay’s acquisition of English-speaking rights to Beautiful Boy and IFC Films’ swoop on Cave Of Forgotten Dreams.

CAA brokered the deal on behalf of The American Film Company with Jason Constantine of Lionsgate and Howard Cohen and attorney Greg Bernstein on behalf of Roadside Attractions.

Robin Wright and James McAvoy star in the true story of the only woman charged in the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, and the young attorney forced to defend her. Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Alexis Bledel, Danny Huston, Justin Long, Colm Meaney and James Badge Dale also star.

Greg Shapiro, Brian Falk, Robert Stone and Bill Holderman produced and Joe Ricketts, Jeremiah Samuels and Webster Stone served as executive producers.

In other deals:

  • The Weinstein Company (TWC) paid seven figures and made a p&a commitment for North American rights to Warp Films’ UK coming-of-age comedy Submarine, the feature directorial debut of British television comedy creator Richard Ayoade.

WME’s Graham Taylor and Mark Ankner represented North American rights with Ben Roberts of Protagonist on Submarine and negotiated the deal with TWC’s David Glasser, Peter Lawson and Laine Kline. WME and TWC negotiated the multiple-territory deal for Dirty Girl two days ago.

WME is believed to have fielded as many as six offers before the deal closed around 5am in Toronto today [15]. Protagonist is handling international sales. Optimum Releasing previously acquired UK rights and will release after Submarine’s European premiere at the London Film Festival.

Protagonist confirmed it was negotiating several deals in major European territories and expected to make further announcements by the end of the week.

Ayoade adapted the Submarine screenplay from Joe Dunthorne’s novel about a 15-year-old in Swansea, Wales, who sets out to lose his virginity to a pyromaniac and save his parents’ marriage. Screen International Star Of Tomorrow Craig Roberts stars alongside Sally Hawkins, Yasmin Paige, Paddy Considine and Noah Taylor.

Warp Films produced with financing from Film4 and the now moribund UK Film Council, The Wales Creative IP Fund, The Film Agency for Wales and Dragon DI. Andy Stebbing, Mark Herbert and Mary Burke served as producers on the project and Ben Stiller handled executive producer duties.

  • Anchor Bay Films is closing a seven-figure deal for all English-speaking rights to Beautiful Boy, the Shawn Ku directed film starring Maria Bello and Michael Sheen that premiered on Sunday night [12].

Paradigm’s Ben Weiss represented rights and negotiated the deal with Anchor Bay’s Kevin Kasha. The deal includes a significant p&a commitment. Lightning Entertainment is selling foreign rights to the film. Beautiful Boy is produced by Lee Clay of First Point Entertainment and Eric Gozlan of Gold Rush Entertainment. Ku and Michael Armbruster wrote the script.

  • SPWA has acquired North American rights to James Wan’s Midnight Madness entry Insidious in a seven-figure deal brokered with CAA and Paradigm that closed around 6am local time. SPWA has also made a p&a commitment for a theatrical release on 800-1,000 screens. The film stars Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson as a couple who move into a haunted house with their son.

 

  • IFC Films is believed to have paid six figures for US rights from Submarine to Werner Herzog’s 3D documentary Cave Of Forgotten Dreams.

The Creative Differences and History Films entry explores the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave art in southern France, believed to date back 30,000 years. Erik Nelson and Adrienne Ciuffo produced while Dave Harding served as executive producer alongside Julian P Hobbs, David Mckillop and Molly Thompson.

Arianna Bocco and Betsy Rodgers negotiated the deal for IFC Films with Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of the film-makers with Marc Simon of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP providing legal services.

  • Magnolia Pictures genre arm Magnet announced it had acquired North American rights from Finecut to KIM Jeewoon’s I Saw The Devil. Senior vice-president Tom Quinn negotiated the deal with Finecut’s Youngjoo Suh and Magnet will release theatrically in the first quarter of 2011.

The film screened in Toronto as a special presentation and stars Lee Byung-hyun as a special agent who pursues a serial killer who slaughters his pregnant fiancee. Choi Min-sik also stars.

A North American sale was understood to be imminent on Mike Mills’ special presentation Beginners.

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