SUNDANCE EXCLUSIVE: IFC Picks Up Liv Tyler Thriller 'The Ledge'
Matthew Chapman's suicide pic premiered Friday to mixed reviews but interest from multiple buyers.
A strong Sunday of dealmaking continued through the night into Monday with IFC Films' purchase of The Ledge, writer-director Matthew Chapman’s drama about a young man threatening to jump off a high-rise office building. IFC paid just over $1 million for the film, which will get theatrical and VOD releases in the late Spring. The deal finally closed around 3 am.
The company grabbed domestic rights to the character study, which premiered at Sundance on Friday afternoon and is screening in the festival’s U.S. dramatic competition. The sale was the first to close Monday, after an avalanche of Sunday deals: Paramount and Indian Paintbrush’s purchase of Like Crazy, Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate’s partnership in picking up Margin Call, Fox Searchlight’s purchase of Homework and The Weinstein Co. and Ron Burkle’s purchase of My Idiot Brother.
The film has gotten mixed reviews (here's THR's Kirk Honeycutt's review), but there were at least three other bidders in the hunt. Sources indicate that the film's erotic quotient was an element in closing the deal and could help sell the film to audiences.
Ledge was repped by Cassian Elwes, Kevin Iwashina of Parlay Media and producer Mark Damon's Foresight Unlimited, who negotiated with IFC Films execs Arianna Bocco and Betsy Rodgers. Michael Mailer also produced.
The film features Charlie Hunnam as Gavin, the would-be jumper, and Terrence Howard as Hollis, a detective who joins Gavin on the ledge to convince him not to jump. Throughout the course of their precarious conversation, both men reveal details of their past troubles and enduring difficulties. Liv Tyler also stars as Shauna, a former drug addict wrapped up in a love triangle with the jumper — an atheist — and her fundamentalist husband, played by Patrick Wilson.
IFC recently released the 2010 Sundance doc Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Tiny Furniture and Carlos.