The distributor, riding high on a mighty launch for Blue Jasmine over the weekend, said on Monday [29] it had taken worldwide rights to the documentary.

Teller, one half of the magician act Penn & Teller, directed the film about a Texan inventor’s mission to discover how the 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer mastered photorealism 150 years before the invention of photography. Vermeer’s masterpieces include Girl With A Pearl Earring [pictured].

Teller’s stage partner Penn Jillette and Farley Ziegler served as producers. The film will open in 2014.

“My buddy, Tim Jenison, told me over supper he was going to try to paint a Vermeer,” said Jillette. “Tim is a genius, but I’m a skeptic. I wanted to see him do it.  Teller has been the Penn & Teller de facto director since our beginnings so we made a movie of Tim’s whole monomaniacal trip.

“Having Sony Pictures Classics as the first words on the screen means it’s more than just a couple of Vegas magicians and an eccentric inventor in his garage – now, it’s a real film that will change the history of art.”

“This is an important and brilliant film,” said the SPC executives. “We have been admirers of Penn and Teller for decades. We look forward to presenting Tim’s Vermeer to audiences around the world.”