Focus Features nabs rights to 'Beginners'

Will handle virtually all global rights to Ewan McGregor film

Focus Features has joined Toronto's end-of-festival sale by buying rights to Mike Mills' "Beginners," starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer.

Directed and written by Mills ("Thumbsucker"), the autobiographical tale, set in Los Angeles, focuses on McGregor playing a man coming to terms with his father (Plummer) after his dad comes out as gay at age 75 only to learn shortly thereafter that he is dying of cancer.

Focus took worldwide rights, except for Canada, France, Australia, Scandavia and Benelux, in the deal, which guarantees about $2 million in a P&A commitment and will give the film's producers a share in the gross. Focus International will serve as the film's sales agent in the other territories it took on.

UTA Independent Film Group, repping the film-makers, picked up another $2 million from the territories it had already sold in Tornoto. UTA, which reps Mills and McGregory, packaged the film as well.

Focus will release the movie in 2011, possibly as summer counter-programming like "The Kids Are All Right," which it released in July.

"Beginners" was produced by Olympus Pictures in association with Parts and Labor. Producers are Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy. Olympus was also one of the producers of "Rabbit Hole," which Lionsgate acquired at TIFF.
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