EXCLUSIVE: IFC Films closed a $3 million deal for the U.S. rights to The D Train, the Jarrad Paul/Andrew Mogel-directed film that stars Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White, and Kyle Bornheimer. That ties the high-water mark at this festival so far, matching the deal brokered for The Bronze.
Brokered by UTA and WME, The D Train piqued bidders from its debut screening Friday night. Lionsgate and Fox Searchlight were two others in the mix as well as new companies like Broad Green and Alchemy. It was a risky strategy to not close a deal right away — last night all the attention was on the Rick Fumiyawa-directed Dope, which has bids at $7 million and a $15 million P&A commitment I hear to dwarf all other films, with five players in the mix — but these talks dragged out and a deal finally closed this morning. There’s some P&A in the deal also so it will play theatrically.
Deadline Studios @ Sundance Day Two Photos: Jack Black, James Franco And More
This is proving to be the big dilemma at the festival, the idea that so many front-loaded movies are vying for buyer attention that everybody is distracted and buying teams are spread thin and everything is taking longer.
In The D Train, Black is putting together a high school reunion in hopes of erasing the loser tag that dogged him back then, and he tracks down a relationship with the most popular guy from the class, who’s a semi-celebrity. Just as The Bronze is distinguished by a gymnastic sex scene between Melissa Rauch and Sebastian Stan, this one had everybody buzzing about a comparable scene — between the two male leads. White, Black, Priyanka Mattoo, Ben Latham-Jones, Dave Bernad and Barnaby Thompson produced and Paul and Mogel wrote the script.
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