UPDATE, 12:50 PM: Fox Searchlight has confirmed a deal for rights in the U.S. and select overseas territories for the black comedy/drama and plans a 2014 release. Check out the release after the main break.
PREVIOUS BREAKING, 10:29 AM: I’m hearing from the airport here that Calvary has sold to Fox Searchlight for $2.5 million. The Irish-UK pic starring Brendan Gleeson and directed by John Michael McDonagh co-stars Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, and Aidan Gillen. It screened Sunday in Park City in the fest’s Premieres section. The pic centers on a priest (Gleeson) who one day is told by an unseen man that he’s going to kill him precisely because he’s done nothing wrong. Given a week to make his peace with God, the priest ministers to sundry lost souls — visits that double as a guided tour of suspects. His preparation for death is further complicated by the arrival of his daughter, who has recently attempted suicide. It recently was added to the Panorama sidebar at Berlin and will screen there next month.
PARK CITY, UT January 21, 2014 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired U.S. rights as well as select international territories to the blackly comedic drama CALVARY. Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, CALVARY’s ensemble cast includes Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankolé, M. Emmet Walsh, Marie-Josée Croze, Domhnall Gleeson, David Wilmot, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Killian Scott, Orla O’Rourke, Owen Sharpe and David McSavage. The film was produced by Reprisal Films’ Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo and Octagon’s James Flynn, and is an Irish Film Board and BFI presentation in association with Lypsync Productions. The film is scheduled to be released in 2014.
“Brendan Gleeson gives a tour de force performance in a film that John Michael McDonagh has written and directed with perfection, taking us into a world with distinctive characters where the stakes are high,” said Gilula and Utley.
“We made a great film. In Fox Searchlight, we now have a great company behind us to send that film out into the world. Thank you, Sundance. Thank you, bourbon! Onward,” said McDonagh.
“We were impressed by the passion and commitment of Fox Searchlight towards Calvary, and look forward to the next chapter for the film,” said Clark.
“We’ve found the perfect home for the film and are thrilled to be working with Steve and Nancy and their wonderful team at Fox Searchlight,” said Fernandez Marengo.
CALVARY’s Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is a good priest who is faced with sinister and troubling circumstances brought about by a mysterious member of his parish. Although he continues to comfort his own fragile daughter (Kelly Reilly) and reach out to help members of his church with their various scurrilous moral – and often comic – problems, he feels sinister and troubling forces closing in, and begins to wonder if he will have the courage to face his own personal Calvary.
The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien and Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache with UTA Independent Film Group and Protagonist Pictures on behalf of the film.