EXCLUSIVE: Five months after it premiered at Sundance, The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman has sold for U.S. rights and a theatrical release. Millennium Entertainment has paid low seven-figures to release one of the highest profile films in that festival. The film stars Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger and Aubrey Plaza, and marks the English language feature debut of Swedish commercials director Fredrik Bond. While Charlie Countryman polarized critics at Sundance because of its atmospheric mix of dark humor, violence and love, it has made Bond a director to watch; he was right there in the mix as Disney searched to find a director for Pirates Of The Caribbean 5. LaBeouf plays a young man who goes to Bucharest, meets a mysterious woman on the plane, and falls in love. For his romantic pursuit, he is pummeled mercilessly, again and again, by the vicious gangster who has claimed the young musician. Millennium has been chasing the film since it played Sundance, but it took awhile for the deal to work for Nicolas Chartier, the Voltage Pictures financier who scored the largest Sundance deal with the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-directed comedy Don Jon. This shapes up to be a healthy deal by Sundance standards, and Millennium will start with a platform theatrical release and go from there.
“In his theatrical debut, Fredrik Bond has created a stylish, action-packed ride that hooks you from the first moments and never lets go,” Millennium CEO Bill Lee said. “This is a perfect addition to our slate and we expect the film to draw audiences in all windows of release.” CAA and Chartier repped the film and the filmmakers, and Millennium exec Tristen Tuckfield repped the label. The film’s produced by Bona Fide partners Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Voltage’s Craig J. Flores, and Wonderful Films’ William Horberg. Chartier and Patrick Newall are the exec producers.