SPC hits Sundance running for 'Rudo'

Eyes rights to the film starring Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal

The Sundance Film Festival won't begin for another eight days, but already it has seen its first prominent acquisitions target enter the negotiation phase.

Sony Pictures Classics is in talks to acquire rights to "Rudo y Cursi," a Spanish-language film starring Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal and directed by Carlos Cuaron, brother of Alfonso.

The film, set to debut Jan. 16 at the Eccles Center in Park City, centers on two rivalrous, soccer-playing brothers who live on a ranch and suddenly find their athletic careers taking off, which only fuels their rivalry. William Morris Independent and CAA are co-repping the film.

"Rudo" grew out of the "Cha Cha Cha deal," a $100 million, five-picture pact intended to yield one movie each from filmmakers including Carlos Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Rodrigo Garcia.

The film reunites Bernal and Luna on the big screen for the first time since the pair's 2002 breakout "Y Tu Mama Tambien," which Carlos Cuaron co-wrote.

If a deal closes before the festival, it would mark an auspicious beginning to a market some expect to be cool.

SPC has been a prolific buyer of festival pictures during the past year, but prebuys generally have been rare for any distributor during recent years.

Steven Zeitchik reported from New York; Jay A. Fernandez reported from Los Angeles.
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