As this year’s Sundance Film Festival continues to roll along, it has been reported that one of the biggest deals in the festival’s history has occurred with Amazon Studios landing distribution rights to romantic comedy THE BIG SICK for a sum of close to $12 million.
The deal comes after the film’s Friday festival premiere, where it was met with universal acclaim and cemented itself as the first big hit of this year’s Sundance. The film stars Kumail Nanjiani as a Pakistani-American stand-up comic whose relationship with his girlfriend, played by Zoe Kazan, is put through the ringer as the couple deals with cultural differences and a surprise health crisis.
Nanjiani wrote the largely autobiographical script with his wife Emily V. Gordon, who has written for The Carmichael Show.
Negotiations for the North American distribution rights and other foreign distribution rights extended into Midnight on Saturday. Amazon, unlike Netflix, is an advocate of the theater experience with all of its films getting some sort of theatrical release. Many other studios, including Sony, Focus Features, and Netflix, expressed great interest in acquiring the film rights.
The film was directed by Michael Showalter, who is coming off last year’s indie romantic-comedy Hello, My Name is Dorris, with Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel producing. Adeel Akhtar, Anupam Kher, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant, and Kurt Braunohler costar alongside Nanjiani and Kazan.
This acquisition is a big purchase for Amazon who was very active at last year’s Sundance, purchasing Gleason, Weiner-Dog, and current awards contender Manchester by the Sea.
Read our review of The Big Sick here.
Dave McNamee | Staff Writer