EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to At Eternity’s Gate, a drama about Vincent Van Gogh’s ambition to be accepted as a great painter, and his plunge into depression when he was rejected. Introduced for the Cannes Market by CAA Media Finance, the film is directed by The Diving Bell and The Butterfly helmer Julian Schnabel. Van Gogh is played by Willem Dafoe, who’s coming off a Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Florida Project. The film was produced by Jon Kilik. Oscar Isaac, Rupert Friend, Mads Mikkelsen and Mathieu Amalric co-star.

The picture is in post-production, and sources said the deal includes a 7-figure minimum guarantee, with an Oscar qualifying run and platform release late 2018. It becomes one of several very promising pictures to be bought by distributors and will help shape awards season. The promo for Schnabel’s film was very impressive, indicating it could be an exceptional awards season entry and that is what CBS Films is counting on.

Van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In 1886, he moved to Paris where he met members of the avant-garde, including Gauguin. The film explores creativity and the sacrifices van Gogh made to produce the spectacular masterpieces that are instantly recognizable around the world today. During his life, his work was widely panned.

“Julian Schnabel’s work as filmmaker speaks for itself and his success as an artist of many disciplines makes him uniquely qualified to tell the story Vincent van Gogh,” commented CBS Films President Terry Press who continued, “we look forward to working with him to bring audiences this riveting exploration of art, genius and legacy.”

CAA Media Finance brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers, CBS Films Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Scott Shooman, handled negotiations and will oversee the project on behalf of the studio. Rocket Science is handling international sales for the film which was financed by SPK Pictures and Riverstone Pictures.