Sundance Watch: Michael Shannon's 'Take Shelter' finds a home with Sony Classics
In the second major pick up of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the rights to Jeff Nichols' dramatic entry "Take Shelter."
The film stars Michael Shannon as a man who becomes obsessed with building a storm shelter in his backyard after he's haunted by a series of terrifying dreams. The resulting behavior scares his wife (Jessica Chastain) and those in their small Ohio town. The cast also includes Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon and Kathy Baker.
This is Nicols second film. He also collaborated with Shannon, best known for his role on "Boardwalk Empire" and his Oscar-nominated turn in "Revolutionary Road," in 2007's "Shotgun Stories."
"Taking Shelter" is up for competition for the Grand Jury Prize and will premiere on Monday, Jan. 24.
Earlier this month, Roadside attractions picked "The Music Never Stopped" which premieres at the festival on Friday.
In other Sundance news…
- HBO has picked up all rights to opening night documentary "Project Nim." Directed by James Marsh, Oscar winner for "Man on a Wire," "Nim" follows the landmark experiment that aimed to prove a young ape could learn sign language. While HBO is obviously keen on acquiring the film for its broadcast rights, it will be actively looking for a theatrical distributor during the festival.
- The Sundance Institute announced the 2011 festival juries today (although most people had heard it through the grapevine already) and they are seemingly smaller than previous years. Here's the rundown:
America Ferrera ("Real Women Have Curves," "Ugly Betty")
Todd McCarthy (Film Critic, Hollywood Reporter, cocumentary filmmaker)
Tim Orr (cinematographer, "All the Real Girls," "Your Highness")
Kimberly Pearce (director, "Boys Don't Cry")
Jason Reitman (director, "Up in the Air," "Juno")
Susanne Bier ("After the Wedding," "In a Better World")
Bong Joon-Ho ("The Host," "Mother")
Rajendra Roy (Chief Curator, Dept of Film, The Museum of Modern Art)
Jeffrey Blitz (writer/director, "Spellbound," "Rocket Science")
Matt Groening (creator, "The Simpsons")
Laura Poitras ("The Oath")
Jess Search (producer)
Sloan Klevin (editor, "Taxi to the Dark Side")
Jose Padilha (producer)
Mette Hoffmann Meyer (producer)
Lucy Walker (director, "Wasteland")
Alfred P. Sloan Jury
John Amiel ("The Core," "The Singing Detective")
Paul Apsel (Executive Producer, NOVA on PBS)
Sean Carroll (theoretical physicist, author)
Helen Fisher (Anthropologist)
Clark Gregg (director, "Choke")
Short Film Jury
Barry Jenkins (writer/director)
Kim Morgan (film critic/writer)
Sara Bernstein (VP, HBO Documentary Films)
The Sundance Film Festival kicks off on Thursday. Look for continuing coverage on HitFix.