With only a few days left of the Toronto International Film Festival, yet another deal is close to being sealed. THE LEISURE SEEKER, an upcoming road trip film from Italian director Paolo Virzì, starring Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren, is finalizing a deal for U.S. rights with Sony Pictures Classics. Brokered by CAA and Bac Films, the deal is in the mid-seven figure range.
The film is based on the novel of the same name by Michael Zadoorian and tells the story of John (Sutherland) and Ella Spencer (Mirren), a married couple who are taking one last adventure together — driving from Boston to the Hemingway House in Florida — before their respective illnesses catch up with them.
This deal with Sony comes not long after the film had been locking down international sales, even before the first footage was shown at TIFF. The film is still currently shooting, but a promo video was screened at the Canadian festival.
The film is co-written by Virzì and Francesca Archibugi, Francesco Piccolo, and Stephen Amidon. It is being produced by Italy’s Indiana Production Company and RAI Cinema.
This distribution arm of Sony is known for their output of documentaries, as well as independent and art films. Most recently they’ve put out John Krasinski’s The Hollars, Maggie’s Plan, and Julieta. Coming up, they have the documentary The Eagle Huntress and the Richard Gere vehicle Norman: The Moderate Rise and Fall of a New York Fixer.
Sutherland was most recently seen in the final Hunger Games installment and the western Forsaken, which he starred in along with his son, Keifer Sutherland.
Mirren last starred in Eye in the Sky with Aaron Paul and the late Alan Rickman. She currently has several projects happening now or in the works. The second season of Documentary Now!, which she hosts, premiered on IFC this week. She will also be seen in the upcoming Christmas drama Collateral Beauty, action film Fast 8, and Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
They are both repped by CAA.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by Deadline.