In the second high-profile acquisition of the day, Magnolia Pictures announced Friday morning that it has secured U.S. rights to Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder.” Also Friday, Entertainment One nailed down North American rights to Brian De Palma’s “Passion,” another much-anticipated new film from a veteran director.
After having its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival and then screening at the Toronto fest, Malick’s film will receive a 2013 theatrical release from Magnolia, which has been particularly active in picking up Toronto titles. The specialty distributor also acquired “No Place on Earth,” “The Brass Teapot” and, for its Magnet Releasing genre label, “Here Comes the Devil.”
Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem star in “Wonder,” Malick’s story of a man’s relationships with two women, a foreign transplant he meets in France and a childhood sweetheart with whom he reconnects. Sarah Green and Nicolas Gonda produced; Glen Basner of FilmNation and Jason Krigsfeld and Joseph Krigsfeld of Brothers K Productions are executive producers.
“It is an honor and a dream come true to be working with Terrence Malick, one of our greatest living filmmakers,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “‘To the Wonder’ is a romantic, haunting and beautiful film that will be endlessly rewarding for movie lovers.”
Malick’s previous film, “The Tree of Life,” grossed more than $54 million worldwide for Fox Searchlight and received three Oscar nominations after winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2011. “To the Wonder” has received equally mixed responses, but its more modest scale has drawn fewer kudos than “Life’s” outsized ambition.
The get is a bit of a coup for Magnolia, though that may also speak to the larger specialty distributors’ inability to see a way to connect the film with substantial audiences.
Magnolia exec Dori Begley negotiated the deal with CAA on behalf of the filmmakers. Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz provided distribution legal services.
Magnolia Pictures has recently released “Melancholia,” “Marley,” “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” and “Take This Waltz.” Upcoming releases include “Deadfall,” “A Royal Affair” and “Nobody Walks.”