UPDATE: The deal is official, with Radius-TWC planning a fall 2013 release date. The company’s release is after the original story.
EXCLUSIVE: After a late-night Sundance courtship, Radius-TWC is closing a deal to acquire Lovelace in a deal that will climax in the range of $3 million, I hear. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the film stars Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace, who headlined the 1972 pornographic film hit Deep Throat, which captured the zeitgeist. But she was manipulated and bullied into participating in a film which became a financial juggernaut by her coercive boyfriend Chuck Traynor, who is played by Peter Sarsgaard. Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco and Sharon Stone also star.
The picture, which premiered Tuesday night at the Eccles Theatre, had several buyers massing, but Radius-TWC heads Tom Quinn and Jason Janego moved aggressively to make a deal with Millennium Films heads Avi Lerner and Mark Gill. Millennium financed a film whose edgy, racy subject matter and star casting should hit a strong mark as a multi-platform title. This goes down as the third Sundance deal for the multi-platform division of The Weinstein Company, which got underway last year as it landed Bachelorette and made that edgy comedy a big VOD hit. Radius-TWC got this fest off to a start when it acquired the acclaimed docu on backup singers Twenty Feet From Stardom, and then bought the drama Concussion.
Will tell you more as soon as I know it.
Park City, Utah – January 23rd, 2013: RADiUS – TWC proudly announced today that it has acquired U.S rights to LOVELACE, one of the most highly anticipated film’s of the Festival. A true story of fame, abuse and betrayal set against the sexual revolution of the 1970s, LOVELACE stars Amanda Seyfried and Golden Globe nominee Peter Sarsgaard opposite an all star cast that includes Emmy Award winner Hank Azaria, Wes Bentley, Adam Brody, Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale, Academy Award® nominee James Franco, Debi Mazar, Golden Globe nominee Chris Noth, Robert Patrick, Eric Roberts, Academy Award® nominee Sharon Stone, Academy Award® nominee Chloe Sevigny and Juno Temple.
Directed by the Academy Award winning team of Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (HOWL, THE CELLULOID CLOSET) and written by Andy Bellin (TRUST), LOVELACE was produced by Heidi Jo Markel, Laura Rister, Jason Weinberg and Jim Young. The executive producers are Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, Mark Gill, Merritt Johnson, Avi Lerner, Trevor Short and John Thompson.
LOVELACE was made with the cooperation of the estate of Linda Lovelace.
RADiUS has slated a Fall 2013 release.
In 1972—before the internet, before the porn explosion—Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the highlife when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace she became an international sensation—less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive capacity for fellatio. Fully inhabiting her new identity, Linda became an enthusiastic spokesperson for sexual freedom and uninhibited hedonism. Six years later she presented another, utterly contradictory, narrative to the world—and herself as the survivor of a far darker story.
According to RADiUS co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego: “LOVELACE delivers on every level – the story coupled with top notch performances makes for a highly compelling and sophisticated look into a cultural phenomenon. We are over the moon to have the film on our 2013 slate.”
Echoes TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein: “I’ve always been drawn to complex, real life characters and Linda Lovelace is just that. Amanda leads an exceptional cast in a tour de force performance that will leave audiences speechless. We very much look forward to working with our good friends Avi Lerner and Mark Gill at Millennium on this highly seductive and triumphant film.”
TWC president and COO David Glasser along with RADiUS co-presidents Quinn and Janego negotiated the deal with Avi Lerner on behalf of Millennium.