From what I’ve seen and heard so far, there aren’t a whole lot of commercial movies at this year’s festival, so it’s little wonder why the buyers moved quickly to snap up Colette following its well-received premiere on Saturday evening. CAA and Endeavor Content led the negotiations and while they asked for around $4 million upfront, they got a bit more than that. Ultimately, the mid-seven-figure deal calls for a traditional theatrical release later this year. Sony Pictures Classics and Amazon (which is said to be chasing female-driven films at the festival) were both in the mix on the bidding, according to sources.
Wash Westmoreland directed Colette from a script he co-wrote with his late partner and Still Alice collaborator, Richard Glatzer. Set in turn-of-the-century Paris, the film stars Knightley as a young woman who writes a series of bestselling romance novels, but is forced to publish them under her husband’s name. He takes all the credit, while she struggles to be recognized for her work.
Dominic West co-stars alongside Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Elinor Tomlinson and Aiysha Hart. The film was produced by Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler of Killer Films, Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley of Number 9 Films, and Bold Films. Hanway Films is selling international rights.
It’s interesting that 30West partnered with Bleecker Street on this release, seeing as the company led by Dan Friedkin and Micah Green just acquired a majority stake in Tom Quinn and Tim League’s Neon label, giving the I, Tonya distributor more monetary muscle at festivals.
Bleecker Street has Brad Anderson’s Beirut, starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike, debuting Monday night at the Eccles. Deadline broke the news.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief