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SUNDANCE: Lionsgate Finalizing Deal to Pick Up 'The Devil's Double'

Lee Tamahori directed the violent drama based on real events.

Lionsgate is angling to pick up rights to The Devil’s Double, a violent drama based on real events directed by Lee Tamahori. The film had a successful world premiere screening Saturday night at the Eccles Theatre that brought a second round of execs to a press and industry screening Sunday night.

Despite multiple raw scenes of torture and cruelty, several buyers retained interest, including the Weinstein Co., Relativity and Fox Searchlight at various points. Ultimately, Lionsgate pushed hard enough to gain point on the acquisition, as the film is likely not big enough to fit Relativity’s new mandate, and TWC and Searchlight both opted for other films (six between them).

Dominic Cooper stars in dual roles – Uday Hussein and his body double, or fiday – in a gritty real-life story about Saddam’s madman eldest son and the army lieutenant and family man forced to witness his relentless cruelties. Ludivine Sagnier, Mimoun Oaissa, Raad Rawi and Philip Quast also star in the Premieres program selection.

Paul Breuls, Catherine Vandeleene, Michael John Fedun and Emjay Rechsteiner produced; Harris Tulchin and Arjan Terpstra served as executive producers.

CAA and Paradigm are repping the sale for the filmmakers.

Earlier in the festival, Lionsgate partnered with Roadside Attractions to grab domestic distribution rights to J.C. Chandor’s Margin Call for just under $2 million. Roadside will release it.