EXCLUSIVE: In a low-seven-figure deal, Andrew Karpen’s Bleecker Street has acquired North American rights to Pawn Sacrifice, the Ed Zwick-directed drama that stars Tobey Maguire as enigmatic U.S. champion Bobby Fischer and Liev Schreiber as the Russian champion Boris Spassky, whom Fischer challenged in a historic match that captured the world’s attention in 1972. The Steven Knight-scripted drama covers Fischer’s rise leading up to the historic match. Peter Sarsgaard also stars and Maguire, Gail Katz and Zwick produced. The film was one of the highest profile titles and it premieres tomorrow night in Toronto’s Gala premiere section. CAA repped the film with WME Global.
This is a big deal for Karpen, the longtime former co-head of Focus Features who launched Bleecker Street, putting back together a lot of his old team. They were expected to make a splashy buy, and they have. The film will be released next year.