Last year Hamlet 2, sold to Focus Features for a cool $10 million making it one of the biggest deals ever to go down at Sundance. The year before Little Miss Sunshine went to Fox Searchlight for the same hefty price. The first film, most of you probably didn’t see, but it was kind of funny — just not $10 million funny. (This was our favorite part.) The latter won two Academy Awards and that year’s Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature. Go figure.
So what films are poised to land this year’s double-digit deal given the current economy? Variety has a few starry-eyed ideas about it here; we provide a cheat sheet for the buzziest flicks after the jump.
I Love You, Phillip Morris: A dark comedy starring Jim Carrey that marks the directing debut of the Bad Santa writing team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. We’re not usually big Carrey fans, and the “I was in a car crash and now I’m a gay con artist” plot line could go either way, but we’d buy a ticket just to watch him make out with Ewan McGregor.
Brooklyn’s Finest: Training Day‘s Antoine Fuqua directs this cop story from first-time screenwriter Michael Martin (a former tollbooth clerk from East New York), inspired in part by Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. The cast includes Ethan Hawke, Richard Gere, Wesley Snipes, Don Cheadle and Ellen Barkin. That’s a lot of heavyweight Hollywood bang for your buck.
Spread: Ashton Kutcher’s late to the party addition to the Sundance roster isn’t part of the formal competition, which means they’re braving the freezing temps solely for a hot sale. While we’d pony up for the meta thrill of watching Kutcher star in a May/December romance (alongside Anne “I see aliens” Heche, no less), Cinematical’s post makes us wary of what misfortunes the official trailer might hold.
The Greatest: Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon team up for this directorial debut from screenwriter Shana Feste. There aren’t many details about the drama online, but we do know that it revolves around a family grieving the loss of their teenage son and focuses on a character played by Zoe Kravitz. If it’s as good as an earlier Sarandon flick, Safe Passage, we’re buying.
Shrink: Kevin Spacey playing a psychiatrist/burn out. Initially it reminded us of another recent flick (which we loved), but it also sounds like the most interesting project he’s taken on in a long time. Jonas Pate, who helmed 2007’s The Take, directs the indie and the ensemble cast includes Robin Williams and Gore Vidal. Yep. Gore Vidal. That’s got to be worth something.