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Sundance 2011: 'Like Crazy' is bought, and will be released by, Paramount Pictures [Updated]

Craz
The first major deal of the Sundance Film Festival has been sealed.

"Like Crazy," the Drake Doremus-directed story of a long-distance relationship between a young man and woman (Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones), has sold to Paramount Pictures and the production company Indian Paintbrush, according to a person close to the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The news dovetails with our earlier report that Indian Paintbrush, the backer of such movies as Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox," was keen on the film and had readied an offer that would see it releasing the drama in conjunction with Paramount Pictures.

The deal, which closed at just past 5:15 am local time, marks the first major acquisition of the Sundance Film Festival and caps an all-night negotiation session that saw studios Fox Searchlight, Focus Features and Summit Entertainment all pursue rights to the fiim. [Updated: A person close to the negotiations said the sales price was about $4 million.]

Paramount is an unusual Sundance player; the festival rarely acquires titles out of festivals, though it did famously buy Craig Brewer's "Hustle & Flow" five years ago here. A Paramount spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

Doremus' movie, which also stars Jennifer Lawrence, earned plaudits for its poignant exploration of geographically-challenged love after it world-premiered at the festival on Saturday afternoon. United Talent Agency handled the sale on behalf of Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling, the film's producers.

The premiere marks the second consecutive year that a Doremus movie has debuted at Sundance. Last year marked the first-ever screening of his male-oriented comedy "Douchebag."

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: 'Like Crazy.' Credit: Sundance Film Festival

 

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