7:39am PT by Tatiana Siegel, Mia Galuppo
Sundance: Neon and Russo Brothers' AGBO Team to Buy 'Assassination Nation'
Neon has partnered with Joe and Anthony Russo's newly launched AGBO to acquired worldwide rights to Sam Levinson’s controversial thriller Assassination Nation.
Curiosity surrounding the film from the son of Barry Levinson was off the charts heading into the festival, with buyers calling the script "polarizing" and "fucked up."
Written by Levinson (who also penned HBO’s Robert De Niro starrer The Wizard of Lies), the film is described as a thousand percent true story about how the quiet, all-American town of Salem absolutely lost its mind. Given the Donald Trump references and over-the-top violence, the film is bound to stoke controversy upon its release.
The film follows four teenage girls in a quiet suburb who become the focus of unwanted worldwide media attention after their personal information is leaked by an anonymous hacker.
Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra and Bella Thorne star alongside It's Bill Skarsgard and Joel McHale.
Produced by David S. Goyer, Anita Gou, Kevin Turen, Aaron L. Gilbert and Matthew J. Malek, Assassination Nation premiered in Sundance's Midnight section.
Levinson previously helmed the family dramedy Another Happy Day, which debuted at Sundance back in 2011.
The deal -- said to be $10 million -- marks the biggest price tag at the festival by far, double the amount Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions paid for the John Cho thriller Search. It's also the second sale involving upstart Neon, which took rights to the police shooting drama Monsters and Men on Monday.
It was a busy morning for Neon, having locked down the deal as the Oscar nominations were being announced. The 1-year-old distributor landed three mentions for its film I, Tonya (lead actress Margot Robbie, supporting actress Allison Janney and editor Tatiana S. Riegel).
Neon's I, Tonya partner 30WEST arranged the partnership between Neon and AGBO.
Endeavor Content negotiated the sale. Neon and AGBO were repped by 30WEST.