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Andrew Karpen‘s new distribution company Bleecker Street has made its first buy, acquiring U.S. rights to the Ed Zwick-helmed chess movie Pawn Sacrifice.
Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard star in the film that chronicles the epic chess match between Bobby Fischer (Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Schreiber). The 1972 battle between the American phenom and the Russian champ was dubbed the Match of the Century and played against the backdrop of Cold War politics. Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) wrote the screenplay.
The drama first screened for buyers at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 5 but won’t officially debut until Sept. 11. Bleecker Street, headed up by former Focus Features executive Karpen and backed by 5-hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargava, has been looking to make its first pick-up here at the festival.
In his review in THR, Jordan Mintzer called the movie: “A classically helmed biopic that brings nothing new to the genre, but benefits from handsome craftmanship and solid performances [by Maguire and Schreiber].”
Zwick, Gail Katz and Maguire produced the film, which has long been a passion project of Maguire’s.
CAA and WME Global repped the filmmakers. Lionsgate is handling international sales.
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