In a welcome sign of acquisition activity, ambitious indie distrib A24 has acquired U.S. rights to John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk To Girls At Parties. The film, which starts filming in November, is based on a short story by Neil Gaiman and stars Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, and Alex Sharp — a recent Tony award winner for The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. Gaiman is exec-producing. Producers are Howard Gertler (Mitchell’s Shortbus) and Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (Macbeth).
The story follows a shy teenage punk rocker Enn in 1970s suburban London, and his two closest friends. One night they all sneak into a party where they meet a group of intensely attractive, otherworldly girls; at first they think they’re from a cult, but eventually come to realize the girls are literally from another world—outer space. The leaders of this alien colony have a nefarious plan in mind, but that doesn’t stop Enn from falling madly in love with Zan, one of the colony’s key members. Their burgeoning romance sets in motion a series of increasingly sensational events that will lead to the ultimate showdown of punks versus aliens, and test the bonds of friendship, family, and true love.
“We are absolutely delighted to be getting on board How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” said A24 in a statement. “The script is both great fun and an affectionate celebration of the outsider spirit, and we know John Cameron Mitchell is the perfect person to bring this wild and singular universe to life. We are thrilled to be working with him along with the movie’s top-tier producing team.”
Mitchell co-wrote the screenplay with Philippa Goslett. Nico Muhly, Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu and Matmos are on board to compose original music and songs for the project. CAA repped domestic rights. Hanway is handling international sales.