Big Sundance Deal Getting Done: 'Splice'

Well, it took a couple weeks beyond the conclusion of the Sundance Film Festival. But finally, there’s a big, big deal on the verge of happening. I hear that Joel Silver and his Dark Castle label distributed by Warner Bros is in the last stages of closing a distribution deal for the genetic mutation thriller Splice. It will give the film a wide summer release on 3,000 screens, and a P&A commitment north of $25 million, and more likely in the vicinity of $35 million to $40 million. Midway through the festival, I reported that CAA was working on a sale that would have put the Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group at the center of the film’s release, with distribution through Bob Berney’s Apparition, and a P&A commitment near $20 million that was to be supplied by an independent financing source. Until Silver and Dark Castle stepped up. (Of course, deals on the verge do fall apart…) Compared to the modest $5 million and lower sums paid for films at this year’s Sundance, this is a huge bet by Dark Castle that it’s found the next Paranormal Activity. The Vincenzo Natali-directed film is a modern Frankenstein story, starring Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody as genetic scientists who create humanoid life with nightmarish consequences.

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