Toronto: Louis C.K. Deal Bright Spot in Tough Market So Far
Also disrupting the status quo at TIFF was Byron Allen, who emerged as a new power player on the acquisitions front.
Leave it to Louis C.K. and his politically incorrect comedy I Love You, Daddy to inject some energy into a somewhat lethargic market at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Undeterred by the risque material (C.K. dropping the N-word, Charlie Day making child rape jokes and multiple characters using the word "retard"), The Orchard plunked down $5 million for worldwide rights to the film about the most inappropriate May-December courtship since Woody Allen's Manhattan (C.K.'s 3 Arts manager Dave Becky and APA's Mike Berkowitz negotiated the deal).
C.K., 50, is unfazed by the controversy. "Some artists get so upset when they get criticized," he tells The Hollywood Reporter, "in the same way that the people criticizing say, 'I shouldn't have to be aware of offensive movies.' Both are stupid. … It's just a fucking movie."
Also disrupting the status quo at TIFF was Byron Allen, who emerged as a new power player on the acquisitions front, buying two films for $4 million each: Chappaquiddick, about the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's infamous deadly car accident in 1969, and the Keanu Reeves sci-fi pic Replicas (the former also will get a $16 million prints-and-advertising commitment).
"47 Meters Down gave us confidence," says Chris Charalambous, head of acquisitions at Allen's Entertainment Studios, referring to its summer shark thriller that is 2017's most successful indie.
Meanwhile, Neon and former CAA agent Micah Green's 30WEST teamed to buy I, Tonya for $5 million — $1 million less than CBS Films' prefestival offer, a head-scratcher considering that the Tonya Harding dramedy received awards buzz for Margot Robbie and Allison Janney.
Other deals as of press time included Netflix buying the Jason Sudeikis-Elizabeth Olsen road movie Kodachrome for $4 million; YouTube Red snapping up the Morgan Spurlock doc sequel Super Size Me: Holy Chicken! for $3.5 million; and A24 and DirecTV teaming for worldwide rights to Hot Summer Nights, starring Timothee Chalamet, and North American rights to the Australian crime thriller 1%.
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.