Most-Wanted Movies on the Market
There's much to entice buyers at Toronto, Venice and Telluride.
As U.S. buyers begin thinking about the fall festival season, a list of potentially hot titles is starting to take shape. The big question: Will the recent boom in festival dealmaking continue at Toronto, Venice and Telluride? Toronto always has been fertile ground for finding finished product such as recent breakouts The Hurt Locker, The Wrestler, The Conspirator, Beginners and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Now, it's becoming a bona fide sales market to boot. On Sept. 9 in Toronto, Chinese producer Zhang Weiping, FilmNation Entertainment and New Pictures Film Co. will screen footage of Zhang Yimou's Heroes of Nanking, starring Christian Bale, for domestic and international buyers. The filmmakers are confident that the $90 million Chinese production will find a domestic distributor in time for an awards run. Other finished films likely to generate interest from U.S. buyers include Oren Moverman's L.A. cop drama Rampart, starring Woody Harrelson and Steve Buscemi, from a script by James Ellroy and Moverman. William Morris Independent is handling domestic rights, while international sales are led by Sierra/Affinity. The ensemble comedy Friends With Kids is another buzzed-about title. The film was written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt, who also stars opposite Jon Hamm -- her real-life partner -- Megan Fox and Kristen Wiig. John Sloss' Cinetic Media is the domestic sales agent, while Red Granite is shopping overseas. CAA and Voltage Pictures will handle William Friedkin's Killer Joe, based on Tracy Letts' play about a young man who puts a hit on his evil mother in order to collect insurance. Ensemble dramedy The Oranges, directed by Julian Farino, is another CAA-repped title seeking a domestic distributor. UTA is taking several titles, including 360, written by Peter Morgan, directed by Fernando Mireilles and starring Rachel Weisz and Anthony Hopkins, and Lasse Hallstrom's latest, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt with a script by Simon Beaufoy. Paradigm has the ensemble reunion comedy Ten Year and the horror thriller The Incident. Others sparking interest: Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz, starring Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams; Luc Besson's The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh; and Nick Murphy's ghost pic The Awakening, starring Rebecca Hall and Dominic West. The Jane Fonda dramedy Peace, Love & Misunderstanding also is after a U.S. distributor, as is the Maggie Gyllenhaal-Hugh Dancy starrer Hysteria.