Sundance 2012: Gere, De Niro films bound for theaters
The deals continued to come at the Sundance Film Festival on Wednesday, ensuring that a few more films will have a life outside the Park City, Utah, bubble.
Jake Schreier's drama "Robot & Frank" was acquired by Samuel Goldwyn and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. Set in the near future, the movie centers on a lonely seventysomething man (Frank Langella) who is given a robot companion by his children and then forms an odd bond with it.
Nicholas Jarecki's "Arbitrage" also went to two companies: Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions co-acquired the film and will team up to release it. The companies paired on the release of last year's Sundance financial drama, "Margin Call," to which this film has been compared. In the 2012 picture, Richard Gere plays a master-of-the-universe banker who scrambles to prevent his life from coming apart after becoming involved in a shady investment and a fatal car accident.
And "Red Lights," Rodrigo Cortes' follow-up to his 2010 Sundance pic "Buried," has also found a home. The supernatural thriller has been acquired by Millennium Entertainment; the movie stars Robert De Niro as a world-famous psychic and Cillian Murphy and Elizabeth Olsen as two paranormal experts who seek him out. No release dates have been given for any of the films.
Nearly every major specialty company has now bought a film (Focus, Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia and Fox Searchlight bought at least one earlier in the festival) -- save for the Weinstein Co., a rarity in a period when Harvey Weinstein has been one of the most active festival buyers. The firm does have a busy fall, with new films from Quentin Tarantinio, Paul Thomas Anderson and David O. Russell set for release.
Photo: Richard Gere in "Arbitrage." Credit: Sundance Film Festival