Toronto: Lionsgate, Roadside Nearing Deal for David Gordon Green's 'Joe' (Exclusive)

11:48 AM PST 09/13/2013 by Pamela McClintock, Tatiana Siegel

Nicolas Cage's performance in the Worldview Entertainment film, based on Larry Brown's acclaimed novel, has drawn strong reviews since the movie's world debut at the Venice Film Festival.

TORONTO – Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate are close to acquiring U.S. rights to David Gordon Green's Southern gothic tale Joe.

Sony Pictures Classics and Magnolia are still in discussions, but sources say Roadside and Lionsgate are poised to prevail.

Earlier, WestEnd Films closed a slew of deals for the film that stars Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan.

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Artificial Eye took U.K. rights. Other deals closed by WestEnd in Toronto include sales to Japan (CCC), Australia (Madman), Benelux (Cineart) and Scandinavia (Non Stop).

The film, which was financed and produced by Worldview Entertainment, previously sold to France (Wild Side), Germany (Koch Media), Latin America (Swen), the Middle East (ECS), Turkey (Bir Film), Thailand (Dreams Vision), Taiwan (Filmware), Malaysia (Suraya), China (Media Asia), Hungary (Cinenuovo), Ex-Yugoslavia (MCF), Portugal (Pris Audiovisuals), Bulgaria (A Plus), Israel (United King) and Greece (Spentzos Films).

Based on Larry Brown's acclaimed novel, the film centers on a hard-living ex-con (Cage) who becomes friend and protector of a hard-luck kid (Sheridan). Gordon Green directed the film from an adapted screenplay by Gary Hawkins.

Joe made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month before playing at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 9. Cage's performance in particular captured the attention of critics and buyers.

TORONTO REVIEW: David Gordon Green's 'Joe'

Christopher Woodrow's Worldview has had a major presence at Toronto this year, where it had five other films playing in addition to Joe, including Eli Roth's The Green InfernoAtom Egoyan's Devil's Knot and Ti West's horror-thriller The Sacrament, loosely based on the Jim Jones massacre.

Gordon Green produced Joe alongside Lisa Muskat, Woodrow and Derrick Tseng.

CAA, which works closely with Worldview, helped package the project and is negotiating U.S. rights.

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