Cannes: Amy Adams' 'Story of Your Life' Sells to Sony Worldwide (Exclusive)
CANNES -- Hollywood studios have fallen hard for Denis Villeneuve's Story of Your Life, starring Amy Adams.
Late Friday, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions struck a deal with Glen Basner's FilmNation to distribute the $50 million movie in most international territories. The pact came only days after Paramount paid a reported $20 million to prebuy rights to Story of Your Life in North America and China.
The project, set to start shooting early next year, has plenty of pedigree behind the camera. FilmNation, which has now presold the film around the world, is producing Story of Your Life with David Linde's Lava Bear Pictures and Shawn Levy's 21 Laps.
Based on the short story by Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Ted Chiang, Story of Your Life will star Adams as an expert linguist who is recruited by the military to determine whether a group of aliens crash-landing on Earth come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.
"It's pretty rare to sell out like this. Story of Your Life is a really strong script with original ideas. It doesn't feel like every movie you've seen in the last five years," Basner told The Hollywood Reporter. "Denis is an amazing filmmaker and Amy Adams has both commercial appeal and is a great actress."
Sony Worldwide will distribute the film in all territories save for the U.K., where eOne will handle, Australia (Village Roadshow), India (Reliance), Israel (Shani Films) and the Middle East, Greece and Turkey (Italia). Sony Worldwide's Michael Helfand, Joe Matukewicz and Jon Freedberg negotiated the deal.
Villeneuve, who impressed with Prisoners, will direct from an adapted script by Eric Heisserer.
Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder will oversee production of the film on behalf of FilmNation, while Tory Metzger shepherds on behalf of Lava Bear. Dan Levine and Dan Cohen are spearheading for 21 Laps.
Adams is coming off an Oscar nomination for her work in American Hustle and has another buzzworthy film in the can: Big Eyes, directed by Tim Burton, in which she portrays painter Margaret Keane. The Weinstein Co. releases Big Eyes on Dec. 25.