EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 1:00 am PST: It took awhile, but the Sundance deals are now moving faster as the festival heads toward its final weekend. IFC is closing a deal for Cold In July, the Jim Mickle-directed drama that stars Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and Vinessa Shaw. I’m hearing the deal is in the vicinity of $2 million for North American rights, with WME Global negotiating. Hall plays a small town Texas man who kills a home intruder and finds his life unraveling into a dark underworld of corruption and violence when the dead man’s father insists on eye for an eye justice. The film premiered last Saturday in the Library Theater, in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. This is the second IFC deal tonight, as the label is also closing God’s Pocket, the Philip Seymour Hoffman-starrer that marks the feature directing debut of Mad Man star John Slattery.
Here is release:
IFC Films announced today from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to Jim Mickle’s COLD IN JULY. The film, with a screenplay by Jim Mickle and Nick Damici, stars Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, and Wyatt Russell.COLD IN JULY was produced by Linda Moran, René Bastian of Belladonna Productions, Marie Savare de Laitre and Adam Folk, and executive produced by Jean-Baptiste Babin, Emilie Georges, Manuel Chiche, David Atlan-Jackson, and Joël Thibout. The film made its world premiere at this week’s festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section. IFC Films will release the film theatrically and on Video On Demand in Summer 2014.
COLD IN JULY asks the question: How can a split-second decision change your life? While investigating noises in his house one balmy Texas night in 1989, Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) puts a bullet in the brain of low-life burglar Freddy Russell. Although he’s hailed as a small-town hero, Dane soon finds himself fearing for his family’s safety when Freddy’s ex-con father, Ben (Sam Shepherd), rolls into town, hell-bent on revenge.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films says: “Jim Mickle is a major talent who has just delivered his best film yet and IFC Films could not be more excited to bring it to the large audience it so richly deserves.”
Director Jim Mickle added, “Our whole team is ecstatic to be partnering with IFC Films. This is the perfect fit for our film. Seven years ago we set out to bring Joe’s work to the big screen, so to be back at Sundance with this film and this incredible cast makes it all worth it. So far the response has been beyond our wildest dreams.”
Festival programmers said this of the film: “Michael C. Hall brings a shell-shocked vulnerability to his portrayal of Dane that contrasts perfectly with the grizzled badasses portrayed by Sam Shepard and Don Johnson. Directed with an excellent eye for the visual poetry of noir, this pulpy, southern-fried mystery is a throwback to an older breed of action film, one where every punch and shotgun blast opens up both physical and spiritual wounds. Twists and turns accelerate as the film reaches its inevitable destination: a gore-soaked dead end. Cold in July is as muggy, oppressive, and hard to shake as an east Texas summer.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP of Acquisitions at Productions, at Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers.