EXCLUSIVE: After an all night auction in Cannes, Annapurna Pictures has won U.S. rights off promo to buzzed-about Nicole Kidman crime-thriller Destroyer in what we understand to be a mid seven-figure deal for U.S only with a significant release commitment taking total pact to eight figures.
This was a close-fought thing with Amazon and NEON also understood to have been in the mix. STX and CBS were among other interested parties but ultimately didn’t make offers. ICM and CAA packaged and repped the U.S. 30WEST financed the movie.
The Karyn Kusama-directed pic, currently in post-production, follows LAPD detective Erin Bell (Kidman) who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past. By all accounts Kidman undergoes quite a transformation for the role. Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Bradley Whitford, Toby Kebbell, and Scoot McNairy are among co-stars.
Script comes from Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who previously collaborated with Kusama on 2015 thriller The Invitation. Producers are Fred Berger (La La Land) of Automatik, Hay, and Manfredi. Rocket Science is overseeing international sales. The anticipated movie is a potential fall festival debut. Megan Ellison’s Annapurna also has Jacques Audiard Western The Sisters Brothers and Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette coming up.
Past the mid-way point, the Cannes market is shaping up decently with a handful of splashy deals for commercial and prestige-art house fare. Business has been solid for many US buyers and international sellers compared to some of the barren markets of recent years.