Some dealmaking has gone down over the past 24 hours, with a handful of indie movies now finding homes and plotting their ways to a screen near you.
First up, the long-shelved Duplass Bros. project "Do-Deca Pentathlon" finally has a home at Fox Searchlight. Production on the film took place back in 2008, but when "Cyrus" got going, post-production was delayed, and the feature's been sitting in a drawer ever since. Starring Steve Zissis, Mark Kelly and Jennifer Lafleur, the story follows two competitive brothers who, during a family reunion, set up a 25-event private Olympics. It sounds great, perfectly in the unique sphere where the Duplass brothers operate, and it's one our most anticipated films at SXSW. With Fox Searchlight nabbing it, the buzz is only sure to increase.
For the reader out there who has been asking about "Hello I Must Be Going," today is your lucky day. Todd Louiso's film, starring Melanie Lynskey, has been picked up by the fine folks over at Oscilloscope Laboratories. Premiering back in January at Sundance, the story follows a divorced and down-on-her-luck 35-year-old woman who is forced to move back in with her parents, and winds up in an unconventional relationship with a teenage boy. Describing it as "frank and funny about sex" and "heartfelt as it is horny" it's a movie that we enjoyed at the fest, and we're glad it's not sitting around waiting for a distributor.
Moving in a totally different direction, Jason Statham's "Hummingbird" has found a home at Lionsgate, which is whatever. But there is a reason we care about this a bit more than we normally would. The project has "Eastern Promises" writer Steven Knight behind it (making his directorial debut), which makes us hope (fingers crossed) that the story — centering on a man with a tragic past, living life as an upper class Londoner, who has to hunt down the dudes who kill his girlfriend — has a bit more going for it. Typical Statham? Or class-driven thriller? Hoping for the latter as the movie gears up to start shooting next week.
IFC Films has picked up "Sleepwalk With Me," which also premiered at Sundance in January. Starring Mike Birbiglia (who also co-wrote and directed) and Lauren Ambrose, the film follows the amblings of a commitment-phobic, sleepwalking New York comedian who falls out out of motel window and struggles to maintain a relationship with his girlfriend.
Finally, Kevin Smith's SModcast Pictures has acquired their first title under their deal with Phase 4 Films. Slamdance winner "Bindlestiffs" will now be presented by Kevin Smith's shingle with a deal being struck for the U.S. and Canadian rights. The Audience Award-winner directed by Andrew Edison centers on three virginal high school boys who get suspended from school and flee the city to live out the plot of "The Catcher In The Rye." We'll definitely give them points for originality. True to their word, SModcast will roll out in the film in June to theaters roadshow style with Q&As to follow afterward. Whether Smith's followers will be compelled to see a movie at a premium price that he's not involved in, remains to be seen. Check out the red band trailer below. [Thompson On Hollywood/Indiewire/Variety/Variety/THR]