The former Saturday Night Live star’s romantic comedy Palm Springs is now the most expensive acquisition in Sundance history, selling to Neon and Hulu for exactly $17,500,000.69. Yes, you read that correctly: The film beat Fox Searchlight’s 2016 acquisition of Nate Parker’s festival breakout The Birth of a Nation by 69 cents.
Directed by Max Barbakow and produced by Samberg and his Lonely Island comedy troupemates Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone alongside Becky Sloviter through their Party Over Here banner, Palm Springs follows a stranded wedding guest, Nyles (Samberg), who falls for the maid of honor (Cristin Milioti) after rescuing her from a disastrous toast before a surrealist interruption thwarts their budding union and wreaks havoc on the ceremony. J.K. Simmons, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Peter Gallagher, and Tyler Hoechlin have supporting roles.
Samberg previously told EW the best way to describe the film is: “an R-rated rom-com set at a wedding — with a twist,” and that it spoke to him for reaching beyond being a “straightforward genre” movie.
“This definitely is a little bit different than a normal wedding rom-com,” he said, describing Nyles as “a very laid-back character, seemingly. He’s been dragged to this wedding by his girlfriend, and he doesn’t really know anyone and he’s kind of miserable, which is where we kick off. So that was fun to play, someone who is just, like, withdrawn. It didn’t take a lot of energy from me to act of the scenes in the beginning. [Laughs] He’s very chill.”
Neon will handle theatrical distribution rights, though a release date for Palm Springs has yet to be announced.
“We spent over 85 million dollars of our own money on this movie, WE ARE TAKING A BATH on this deal,” the Party Over Here team said of the deal in a joint statement. “We hope NEON and Hulu are happy but we definitely have a lot of explaining to do to our families.”