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In its second pricey acquisition of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the Weinstein Co. is inches from closing a deal for worldwide rights to writer-director Jacob Aaron Estes’ quirky drama The Details for about $8 million.
UPDATE: TWC announced that it had closed the deal around 9:45 pm Park City time.
The film stars Tobey Maguire as Jeff, a seemingly successful doctor whose efforts to rid his backyard of lawn-destroying raccoons somehow leads him down a path that results in him cheating on his wife, Nealy (Elizabeth Banks). Jeff’s infidelity leads to several other problems for the suburbanite, and by the end of the film, the transgressions he’s involved himself in are both strange and hilarious.
The Details also features Laura Linney, who plays an extremely odd neighbor to entertaining — and at times disturbing — effect. Rounding out the strong cast are Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta and Kerry Washington. Whether it’s blackmail, adultery or murder, each of that trio becomes involved in some sort of nefarious activity with Maguire’s Jeff.
Mark Gordon, Hagai Shaham and Bryan Zuriff produced the project, and Mickey Liddell and Jennifer Hilton served as executive producers.
UTA and CAA co-repped the dark comedy, which debuted Monday night as part of the festival’s Premieres section. The film was well received at the Eccles Theatre screening and attracted immediate interest from buyers, including Summit Entertainment.
TWC execs David Glasser, Peter Lawson and Laine Kline negotiated the deal for the company.
TWC and Ron Burkle acquired U.S. rights to the comedy My Idiot Brother, also starring Banks, for more than $6 million Sunday. The company also picked up rights to the film in the U.K., Germany, France and Japan.
Estes, whose 2004 drama Mean Creek was a hit at Sundance, said at a Q&A following the screening that Jeff’s raccoon situation was born out of a real-life varmint problem of his own. If there was a star of the Q&A, it was child actor Miles Ellenwood, who mugged for cameras from the Eccles stage and was doted on by Maguire, his onscreen father.
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