EXCLUSIVE: After an all-night auction in Toronto, Focus Features is finalizing a big deal for Greta, a foray into elevated genre by writer/director Neil Jordan with Chloe Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert. The auction was feverish, with Netflix, Lionsgate and NEON also bidding, but Focus stalked the stalker tale hardest. I’m hearing the result is a $6 million deal for North America, Australia and China. Focus said the deal is around $4 million.
Film will get a theatrical release next year. All this came following a Thursday evening first screening where the picture played through the roof. Universal previously bought UK, so they were already familiar with the film and now can give the film a coordinated release across all English speak territories, save for South Africa. The auction ended after Jordan sat with each bidder to hear their pitches on how they would release the film.
It was one of two films that created noise Friday night, as the Max Minghella-directed Teen Spirit with Ellle Fanning reportedly is in a deal with LD Entertainment, which committed a minimum guarantee and P&A spend and will find a distributor to service the release.
In Greta, Moretz plays a young woman who just lost her mother moves to New York City. She does a kind turn for a recently-widowed woman, who suddenly becomes her friend. Their relationship becomes Fatal Attraction obsessive as the elegant older woman proves herself to be the scariest kind of pal, dangerous to the young grieving woman and everyone in her circle.
Jordan wrote the script with Ray Wright, and Maika Monroe also stars. Lawrence Bender, James Flynn, Sidney Kimmel, John Penotti produced it. CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content teamed on the big sale.
For financier SKE and Starlight Culture, this has been a heckuva month, coming after the success of Crazy Rich Asians.