UPDATE, 2:58 PM: Sony Pictures Classics has confirmed Deadline’s report from yesterday, acquiring Ira Sachs’ Sundance pic Love Is Strange for North America, Germany and Scandinavia. Read the release below after the original story.
PREVIOUS, THURSDAY AM: Sony Pictures Classics is acquiring Love Is Strange, the film scripted and directed by Ira Sachs that stars Alfred Molina, John Lithgow, Marisa Tomei, Cheyenne Jackson, Darren Burrows and Charlie Tahan. The timely film is about two longtime gay lovers who finally get married. One of them then gets fired and is unable to pay the rent. The couple must move in, separately, with a nephew and his family in Brooklyn and the two gay cops next door. The film got a strong response when it premiered last Saturday at the Eccles Theater. The deal is being made by WME Global. The film also got a French distribution deal with Pretty Pictures right after its premiere. SPC previously acquired the opening-night film Whiplash, and then the comedy Land Ho!
NEW YORK (January 24, 2014) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American, German and Scandinavian rights to Ira Sachs’ feature LOVE IS STRANGE. LOVE IS STRANGE made its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it has been one of the most well received films by critics and audiences alike.
Academy Award® nominee John Lithgow and Alfred Molina star as a longtime couple who lose their New York City home shortly after getting married and as a result must live apart, relying on friends and family to make ends meet. The all-star cast of LOVE IS STRANGE also includes Academy Award® winner Marisa Tomei, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan and Cheyenne Jackson.
In his five-star review of the film, Time Out’s Joshua Rothkopf said, “LOVE IS STRANGE emerges as a total triumph for Sachs and his co-leads, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, who, despite lengthy filmographies, turn in career-topping work.”
Written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, LOVE IS STRANGE is produced by Sachs, Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy of Parts & Labor, and Jayne Baron Sherman.
In LOVE IS STRANGE, Ben (Lithgow) and George (Molina) finally wed in Manhattan after 39 years together. However, once the Catholic school where George has had a longtime job hears of the marriage, he is fired, and the couple is forced to move into two separate households as they can no longer afford their Manhattan apartment. George moves in with two gay cops who live downstairs, and Ben moves to Brooklyn with his nephew, his wife, and their teenage son. While trying to find a new place to live together, Ben and George feel the pain of living apart while testing the strength of their relationships, both with each other and with those who have taken them in.
This acquisition also marks a reunion between Ira Sachs and Sony Pictures Classics, as the company previously distributed Sachs’ MARRIED LIFE in 2007.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Michael, Tom and Dylan again,” said Sachs, “What was clear from our meetings is that they understand the film as a New York love story anchored by two powerhouse performances by Lithgow and Molina.”
“Filmmaker Ira Sachs, one of our most acute observers of humanity in modern times, has made his most accomplished film featuring two of the greatest actors in the English speaking world at the peak of their form. It is a privilege to collaborate with them on releasing LOVE IS STRANGE,” said Sony Pictures Classics.
LOVE IS STRANGE was negotiated with WME Global, marking this as their second sale with Sony Pictures Classics at Sundance following WHIPLASH.