Sundance: Sony Pictures Classics Pays Nearly $3 Million for 'Whiplash'
PARK CITY -- Sony Pictures Classics nabbed North American, German and Australian rights for Damien Chazelle's Whiplash early Saturday morning. The sale price approached $3 million, according to sources. SPC beat several bidders including A24 and Roadside Attractions.
Hours after the film opened the 30th annual Sundance Film Festival on Thursday, Sony Pictures Worldwide acquired rights to several international territories for the coming-of-age drama that stars The Spectacular Now's Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. Those territories included the U.K., Scandinavia, Benelux, Eastern Europe (excluding CIS), Greece, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Latin America.
The film centers on 19-year-old Andrew (Teller), a promising drummer who joins a cutthroat Manhattan conservatory where he comes under the harsh scrutiny of Terence Fletcher (Simmons), a brutal music instructor.
The film is written and directed by Chazelle, who expanded his award-winning 2013 Sundance short of the same name into a feature. Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, Michel Litvak and David Lancaster produced Whiplash, while Jason Reitman, Gary Michael Walters and Couper Samuelson executive produced. Nicholas Britell, who originally financed and participated creatively in Chazelle's short, is a co-producer. A source pegs the film's budget at $3.3. million.
WME repped the filmmakers.