Roadside, Lionsgate nab 'Conspirator'

Weinstein Co. snags rights to 'Submarine'

TORONTO -- As the Toronto International Film Festival enters its final days, it's exploded in a flurry of last-minute deal-making with Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate joining forces to pick up U.S. rights to Robert Redford's "The Conspirator," and the Weinstein Co. continuing to set the pace by grabbing U.S. and Canadian rights to the British coming-of-age tale "Submarine."

As acquisition execs get ready to leave Toronto, several other deals are in the offing: Anchor Bay is taking Shawn Ku's "Beautiful Boy," according to a report on, while Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions is taking James Wan's "Insidous," which bowed Tuesday night in the Midnight Movies slot.

"Conspirator," which recounts the trial of Mary Saratt, played by Robin Wright, for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, won't enter this year's Oscar battle, though, but instead will by released by Roadside in the spring.

The first feature from Joe Ricketts' new American Film Co., the film had its world premiere at TIFF at a Saturday night gala at Roy Thomson Hall.

Lionsgate president of acquisitions and co-productions Jason Constantine and Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d'Arbeloff announced the deal. As part of the agreement, premium pay TV rights will go to Epix, in which Lionsgate is a partner.

"There are few American directors as gifted in cinematic storytelling as Robert Redford," Cohen said, "and with 'The Conspirator,' he has chosen a fascinating, little-known tale that illuminates a new perspective on a turning point of history."

CAA, which reps Redford, and Steve Monas of Business Affairs, Inc., brokered the deal on behalf of the American Film Co. with Lionsgate's Constantine and Cohen and attorney Greg Bernstein on behalf of Roadside.

"Submarine," produced by Warp Films, had the support of Ben Stiller who served as exec producer. Writer/director Richard Ayoade's film, which follows a 15-year old boy (Craig Roberts) as he tries to lose his virginity and tries to keep his mom (Sally Hawkins) from leaving his dad.

The film first screened Sunday night at TIFF, and with several bidders in the mix, the TWC deal was concluded about 2:30 early Wednesday morning. The pic went for a price just shy of seven figures as well as a P&A commitment.

TWC execs David Glasser, Peter Lawson and Laine Kline negotiated the deal with WME Global's Graham Taylor and Mark Anker and Protagonist's Ben Roberts.

A 2011 release is planned.

It's the second buy for TWC, which also picked up "Dirty Girl" for about $3 million on Sunday night.