In the first on-site domestic deal of Sundance Lionsgate has acquired North American rights from UTA to Rodrigo Cortes’ Buried starring Ryan Reynolds following its world premiere on Saturday night [23].

Lionsgate’s president of acquisitions and co-productions Jason Constantine and his team closed the deal early on Sunday afternoon and are understood to have paid low seven figures below $4m. The plan is to release it sometime this year.

Constantine called the film “one of the tightest, most intense thrillers we’ve ever seen”, adding that the company was “absolutely determined to bring it home to Lionsgate.”

Constantine, along with Lionsgate’s senior vice-president of acquisitions and co-productions Eda Kowan and executive vice-president of business and legal affairs, acquisitions and co-productions Wendy Jaffe brokered the deal with UTA’s Independent Film Group.

Chris Sparling’s screenplay was featured on the Black List, a list of the top unproduced films of the year, and centres on a contractor in Iraq who wakes up inside a coffin with a mysterious cell phone as his only aid to escape.

Adrian Guerra and Peter Safran produced, with Alejandro Miranda serving as executive produced alongside Cortes.