Agencies CAA, WME and UTA held their parties last night, but forgive the dealmakers for being distracted. They worked late into the night trying to close deals. Deadline told you last night that FilmDistrict (with Exclusive Media) was zeroing in on Austenland, a deal that would have closed last night if not for the fact that producer and Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer and director Jerusha Hess are Mormon and they apparently don’t focus on business on the holy day (I’m envious). UPDATE: That deal isn’t going to make, and the sellers will close elsewhere, possibly with Fox Searchlight.
Other deals that were all-nighters and are still going include Fruitvale, which had The Weinstein Company leading the pack and Searchlight, Paramount and Focus Features and CBS Films also in the mix for a deal that will ring up around $2 million or more and a nice theatrical release for this gem of a movie. WME Global is handling that one.
Also in the midst is Concussion, a drama about a fortysomething wealthy, married, lesbian housewife who gets beaned by a baseball and strangely reflects on a life that she realizes is wanting and leads her to lead a secret life on the side. I’ve heard that IFC and Radius-TWC are all over this one, with Magnolia and Fox Searchlight early aspirants, in an auction being brokered by Paradigm.
The big wild card today is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction. CAA has been working that one into the late hours. There has been a persistent rumor of Relativity Media (it is growing stronger each minute) has made a precedent-setting megabuck offer that might blow everybody else out of the water, but it’s hard to know exactly what’s what as I’ve also heard that numerous other buyers were looking at around a $4 million minimum guarantee for a theatrical release with screens and P&A commitments. They include but are not limited to TWC, Lionsgate and CBS Films. It looks like this might be the fest’s big deal when the dust clears here. Gordon-Levitt made it clear to me that he sees his film as a wide appeal R-rated comedy and it looks like we’ll get to see if he’s right.
Action is starting on the Richard Linklater-directed Before Midnight and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, both of which got stellar reviews. More coming today including the Shia La Beouf-starrer The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman and the Steve Carell-Sam Rockwell-starrer The Way,Way Back. By the time buyers and sellers roll out of here tomorrow and Wednesday, it should work out exactly as everyone figured it would, with a slow start to the deal making, and a strong finish that positions several of these pictures for possible glory later this year. And I have the pleasure of dozing off with a Bluetooth in my ear, which awakens me ever time the phone ring or a text or email arrives. What fun!