Toronto: A24 Grabs U.S. Rights to Tom Hardy's 'Locke' (Exclusive)

UPDATED: The movie, screened to buyers at the Toronto Film Festival by IM Global and CAA, arrived in Toronto with hefty buzz after screening at the Venice Film Festival.

TORONTO – Tom Hardy star vehicle Locke -- written and directed by Steven Knight -- has landed a high-profile U.S. distribution deal with A24 Films, marking the first major deal on the ground at the Toronto Film Festival.

IM Global and CAA closed the deal with A24 in the early morning hours of Saturday.

Locke, about a man whose life unravels in virtual real time while he is at the wheel of his car, drew multiple offers after it drove into Toronto armed with a positive response from its screenings at the Venice Film Festival. The movie unfolds over the course of 90 minutes.

PHOTOS: The Films at Toronto

While the title did not garner a slot at this year's TIFF for reasons unknown, leading foreign sales, financing and production company IM Global ended up having to put extra buyer screenings on after the first one was so oversubscribed. IM Global financed and produced the movie via its Acclaim label, alongside Paul Webster and Guy Heeley of Shoebox Films.

"A24 is exactly the right kind of ballsy, innovative distributor that an astonishing film like Locke needs. We are all delighted to be in business with the highly impressive A24 team whose passion and vision for the film gave them a leading edge on everyone else," says IM Global CEO Stuart Ford.

Added A24: "Steven Knight has built a singular, nail-biting experience around Tom Hardy's remarkable performance."

Sources say four bids were tabled in the immediate aftermath of Friday's early morning show at the Bell Lightbox Cinema.

Knight's other credits include his debut, Dirty Pretty Things, David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises and the Jason Statham starrer Redemption, formerly named Hummingbird, which Knight also directed.

A24 is owned by Guggenheim Partners, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.