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Sundance 2012: Fox Searchlight Buying 'The Surrogate' for About $6 Million

Fox Searchlight is nailing down a deal to distribute Ben Lewin’s The Surrogate, starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, in all territories worldwide. A source close to the deal pegs the price at around $6 million.

The U.S. narrative competition drama sparked offers shortly following its well-received world premiere Monday afternoon at the Eccles Theatre.

In the fact-based film, Hawkes plays a 38-year-old poet and journalist in an iron lung who decides to lose his virginity with the help of Hunt’s sex surrogate. William H. Macy plays the priest who provides guidance to the conflicted man. Judi Levine and Stephen Nemeth produced.


CAA repped the filmmakers on the sale.

At last year's festival, Searchlight bought breakout Martha Marcy May Marlene, along with two other films. The Surrogate is the company's first purchase at this year's festival. There were several other active bidders on the competition film.

PHOTOS: 10 of Sundance 2012's Films With Buzz - The Fest's Best Bets

So far during the fest, Sony Pictures Classics has grabbed North American rights to Malik Bendjelloul's competition documentary Searching For Sugar Man, and Magnolia Pictures has picked up Lauren Greenfield’s competition doc The Queen of Versailles, LD Distribution closed a deal to pick up the Midnight thriller Black Rock, and CBS Films acquired the drama The Words.

Email: Jay.Fernandez@THR.com; Daniel.Miller@THR.com

 Twitter: @Writer730@DanielNMiller