EXCLUSIVE: After another vigorous bidding battle, The Weinstein Company goes into Saturday morning Cannes time near a deal for Sing Street, the next movie that will be directed by John Carney. The deal is U.S. rights for around $3 million, and it keeps TWC in business with Carney after they first teamed up on the Toronto Film Festival’s biggest deal, for Can A Song Save Your Life, which is being released under the title Begin Again. That film sold for $7 million in vigorous bidding. This film, which had Fox Searchlight and A24 chasing as well after buyers read a script and met with Carney, sounds closer in spirit to Carney’s superb directorial debut Once. Sing Street is described to me as an Irish musical set in a high school. It’ll be populated with unknown actors and U2′s Bono and The Edge are involved. WME Global is brokering this deal and Anthony Bregman is producing the film (he worked with Carney on Begin Again). EBF and PalmStar Media Capital are funding the film.
It’s one of three films that TWC bid aggressively on Friday night at the Croisette. As Deadline revealed last night, the bidding is up to $6 million for U.S. rights on The Coup, the John Erick Dowdle-directed thriller that stars Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan. The Weinstein Company is the front-runner, but it is battling it out right now with Relativity, with Paramount a lurking dark horse. The Bold Films-backed film was scripted by the director and his brother Drew. It is about an American family that relocates to Southeast Asia, only to find themselves in the middle of a violent coup. They struggle to find an escape route because the new parties in control are executing foreigners as quickly as they can round them up. WME Global and UTA are co-repping that film, which should close Saturday morning.
TWC was also in the mix on the Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Nightcrawler, but as I broke last night, that one is going to close with Open Road tying down that Dan Gilroy-directed film with a $5 million winning bid in an auction orchestrated by WME Global and CAA. Sierra/Affinity is brokering offshore deals on both Nightcrawler and The Coup. This is shaping up to be quite a vigorous festival after Paramount kicked things off paying a record $20 million for the Denis Villenueve-directed Amy Adams starrer Story Of Your Life. WME Global has had the hot hand so far, as it is in the middle of all four of the big auctions and brokered the Paramount deal along with FilmNation’s Glen Basner. Basner also will sell foreign on Sing Street, an effort that should become easier once the TWC deal is completely papered.