EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that the first major acquisition on the ground at the weekend festivals will be a Weinstein Company deal for U.S. rights to Tracks, the John Curran-directed film that stars Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver. The deal with backer HanWay Films is being made right now, after the picture made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it is playing in competition. The film’s U.S. premiere is this weekend at Telluride before it heads for the Toronto Film Festival next week.
Tracks, scripted by Marion Nelson, is based on a memoir by Robyn Davidson. It tells the harrowing story of how Davidson repaired her tattered life after the breakup of her marriage and death of her mother, by trekking solo through the desert in Australia. Driver plays a photographer for National Geographic who chronicled her 2,000 mile journey. The deal is being made by CAA.
Here is the release memorializing yesterday’s Deadline scoop:
The Weinstein Company (TWC) today announced that it has acquired US rights from HanWay Films to John Curran’s TRACKS starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver, based on a remarkable true story. See-Saw Films’ Emile Sherman and Iain Canning produced the film, adapted with a screenplay by Marion Nelson from the memoirs of Robyn Davidson. TRACKS received rave reviews after its world premiere in Competition at the Venice Film Festival. The film screened stateside this weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, and will also screen at next week’s Toronto International Film Festival.
From director John Curran (The Painted Veil, We Don’t Live Here Anymore), TRACKS tells the remarkable true story of Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska), a young woman who leaves her life in the city to make a solo trek through almost 2,000 miles of sprawling Australian desert. Accompanied by only her dog and four unpredictable camels, she sets off on a life-changing journey of self-discovery. Along the way, she meets National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver) who begins to photograph her voyage.
CAA, Thorsten Schumacher, Managing Director of HanWay Films, and Craig Emanuel of Loeb & Loeb brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers with TWC’s COO David Glasser and President/Managing Director of European Acquisitions Robert Walak.
Commented TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein: “The response to this film out of Venice and Telluride was nothing short of astounding, and is well-deserved. We’ve had great experiences in the past working with Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, and are thrilled to be on board with such talent as John Curran, Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver.”
Producers Sherman and Canning said: “This is a film we have worked to bring to the screen for the last five years. John Curran has done an extraordinary job bringing this beautiful story to life, and we are very excited to be working once again with everyone at The Weinstein Company.” The Weinstein Company also released the Oscar-winning Best Picture The King’s Speech, which Sherman and Canning also produced.
TRACKS pre-sold to UK (eOne), Italy (BIM) Australia (Transmission) Switzerland (Ascot Elite), remaining territories are expected to sell out following the forthcoming Toronto debut.
The film was produced and financed with support from Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival, Screen New South Wales, Deluxe and Cross City Sales.