A pair of pickups occurred at the Sundance Film Festival today, with "The Words" starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons, and "Black Rock" starring Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell and Katie Aselton acquired by CBS Films and LD Distribution, respectively.
Co-written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal in their helming debut, "The Words" stars Cooper as a struggling writer who hits the big time after discovering an unpublished manuscript and passing it off as his own. The actual author of the book (Jeremy Irons) subsequently shows up to take his revenge. CBS paid a low-seven-figure sum for the film, according to a source close to the negotiations. The distributor is shooting for a Q3 or Q4 release later this year.
"The Words" was a product of the Sundance Screenwriter's Lab and ranked on a previous edition of the Black List, an annual rundown of the best unproduced screenplays circulating in Hollywood.
"We feel very fortunate to be working with CBS Films given their level of commitment and enthusiasm for the theatrical release of the film in the Fall season," said producer Tatiana Kelly. The pickup occurred prior to the movie's world premiere, which is scheduled for Friday, January 27th.
Also acquired in the low seven figures today was "Black Rock", a thriller starring Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell and Katie Aselton as a trio of young women who go on a camping trip together in the Maine wilderness and are ultimately forced to fight for their survival after making one wrong move. It's described as being akin to a female version of "Deliverance", with a little "Thelma and Louise" mixed in for good measure.
Deadline reports that several other distributors including Lionsgate, Magnolia and IFC also went after the film, which premiered last night in a midnight screening. "Black Rock" was directed by Aselton based on a script written by her husband Mark Duplass, the actor/writer/director ("Cyrus", "The Puffy Chair") who co-stars with her in FX's "The League".
What do you think of the pickups? Do either of these films sound like something you'd be interested in seeing?