With Sundance still six days away, Netflix is in negotiations to make its second major pre-festival deal by scooping up worldwide SVOD rights to the Paul Rudd starrer The Fundamentals of Caring. The deal is pegged at nearly $7 million, a source told The Hollywood Reporter.
Heading into the market, the film was considered to be one of the hottest titles given that it is perhaps the sole star vehicle for an A-lister on display at Sundance. Theatrical rights are still available. However, because most of the distributors have output partners in place, it would likely rule out a traditional buyer such as Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics or Focus Features.
Written and directed by Late Show With David Letterman alum Rob Burnett, the pic centers on Ben (Rudd), who becomes a caregiver to earn money after suffering a tragedy. His first client, Trevor (breakout Craig Roberts), is an 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy. One paralyzed emotionally, one paralyzed physically, Ben and Trevor hit the road, finding hope, friendship and Dot (Selena Gomez) in this funny and touching inspirational tale.
Earlier this week, Netflix nabbed worldwide SVOD rights for the Ellen Page starrer Tallulah. The Fundamentals of Caring deal is said to be similar to Tallulah. Theatrical rights to the latter pic are still available as well.
Fundamentals of Caring, which is based on Jonathan Evison’s 2013 novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, will make its world premiere at the festival on Jan. 29.
Like Rudd, Burnett brings serious comedy credentials to the equation. He began his career as a Letterman intern and went on to serve as writer, head writer and eventually executive producer. Burnett received five Emmy Awards.
Donna Gigliotti, James Spies and Burnett produced Fundamentals of Caring, while Jamal Daniel and Renee Witt executive produced.
CAA (which handles Burnett) and UTA (which reps Rudd) negotiated the deal of behalf of the filmmakers.