EXCLUSIVE: In what is fast shaping up to be the fourth significant deal for a Sundance film before the festival gets underway tonight, A24 is moving toward a bold pre-emptive U.S. rights deal for The End Of The Tour. It’s the James Ponsoldt-directed drama that covers the five-day 1996 interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace as they explore the tenuous yet intense relationship that develops between journalist and subject.
Jason Segel plays Wallace, Jesse Eisenberg plays Lipsky, and the film also stars Anna Chlumsky, Joan Cusack, Mamie Gummer and Mickey Sumner. The deal talk is in the $2 million-$3 million range, I hear. Anonymous Content produced.
Remarkably, this is the fourth deal for a narrative film made before the festival starts tonight. Fox Searchlight made a bold and sight unseen acquisition of Mistress America, which Noah Baumbach wrote with Greta Gerwig; Lionsgate acquired the Jared Hess-directed comedy Don Verdean; and Magnolia acquired the comedy Results, which stars Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders.
A24, always aggressive here at Sundance, acquired Ponsoldt’s previous film, The Spectacular Now, at Park city in 2013 and turned it into a specialty hit that sold a ton of DVDs. This deal calls for an awards-season theatrical release later this year. A24 currently has A Most Violent Year in release.
The film’s being repped by UTA and WME Global, and I expect a deal to coalesce later today, but certainly before the film premieres Friday at the Eccles Theater.