Though the Toronto Film Festival is winding down, the deal-making is just heating up. Several distributors are locked in a bidding war for the sci-fi thriller Equals, including Paramount, A24 and Sony Pictures Classics. Sources say a seven-figure domestic or multi-territory deal for for the film is close. Combined with the international territory deals that are still being sold at the festival, the combined sales for the film are nearing eight figures. That would make it a top deal at the festival for a finished film. So far, nothing at TIFF has sold for more than low seven figures, with the exception of Anomalisa, which sold to Paramount for mid-seven figures.
Equals, which stars Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult, first screened at the Venice International Film Festival, but the deal-making kicked off after the North American premiere at TIFF on Sept. 13. The film cost $16 million and was financed by Route One Entertainment.
The Equals dealmaking comes amid another heated bidding war for Hardcore, which has STX Entertainment pursuing, among others. Both deals are expected to close imminently.
Directed by Like Crazy helmer Drake Doremus, Equals tells the story of Nia (Stewart) and Silas (Hoult), co-workers in a utopian future where human emotion has been genetically eliminated. When there is word that a disease has broken out that causes the remanifestation of emotion, Silas and Nia are confirmed to have the disease. The two must then decide to stay in their current reality, with the possibility of being found out and promptly dealt with, or to run away toward their possible freedom. Nathan Parker wrote the screenplay.
Ridley Scott is executive producing the film, which also stars Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver.
UTA is repping the movie in the domestic component of the deal, while Mister Smith Entertainment is handling international.