IFC acquires 'Killer Inside Me'

Casey Affleck stars in graphic thriller

IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to Michael Winterbottom's controversial thriller "The Killer Inside Me" for north of $1 million. It's the ninth sale of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

The violent thriller, adapted by John Curran from the 1952 Jim Thompson pulp novel, first screened last Saturday night at the Eccles Theatre to noisy audience response. The graphic, cold-blooded beatings of characters played by Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson by Casey Affleck's sociopathic small-town Texas deputy sheriff sparked outrage among some offended viewers.

Despite the provocation, interest in a distribution deal was widespread, with three other entities in the deal-making mix. But IFC, not one to shy away from touchy material -- it picked up Lars Von Trier's gory "Antichrist"; last year at Cannes -- ultimately ponied up one of its larger outlays in the early Saturday morning hours. A release is planned this summer via IFC's theatrical and VOD channels.

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Arianna Bocco negotiated on behalf of IFC with WME Global. Wild Bunch's Carole Baraton has also sold "Killer" rights to most foreign territories, with only Germany and Japan still available.

"Killer's" producers include Andrew Eaton and Muse’s Chris Hanley and Brad Schlei.

During Sundance 2009, IFC picked up two films late in the festival: the horror comedy "Dead Snow" and the political satire "In the Loop"; then scooped up a few more in the weeks after.

The WME Global team, led by Graham Taylor, has closed three deals in the last three days, with "Hesher" going to Newmarket Films and "Blue Valentine" to the Weinstein Co. on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Several other Sundance-related deals remain in the offing, including those for "The Company Men," "Splice," "HappyThankYouMorePlease," "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil" and "The Tillman Story."
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