One of the most active new distribution companies on the independent film scene, A24 nailed down a deal to take North American rights to “The Spectacular Now” in the early morning hours Monday. The company plans a summer release for the film, which had its premiere Friday in the U.S. dramatic competition.
Directed by James Ponsoldt, whose previous film, “Smashed,” screened in competition at Sundance in 2012, “Spectacular Now” was adapted from the Tim Tharp novel by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (“(500) Days of Summer”). It tells the story of the complex relationship that develops between two teenagers with very different approaches to life.
Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley star, with Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler and Andre Royo co-starring. Tom McNulty, Shawn Levy, Andrew Lauren, and Michelle Krumm produced.
“We fell in love with this film the minute that we watched it and we know the rest of the country will embrace this timeless love story,” said A24 principals David Fenkel, John Hodges and Daniel Katz. “James has directed a wonderful film that depicts young love with complete authenticity and has two young stars giving incredible performances with Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.”
UTA Independent Film Group repped the sale for the filmmakers. The Exchange is handling foreign sales on the film.
Sony Pictures Classics released “Smashed” in the fall, but it failed to attract a sizable audience. The presence of Woodley, who broke out in Alexander Payne’s 2011 drama “The Descendants,” could provide “Now” with some added appeal, though the film’s serious take on young love could hamper it with audiences that seem rather more interested in the comedic kind.
Just prior to the launch of this year’s Sundance fest, A24 acquired rights to Sofia Coppola’s newest film, “The Bling Ring,” which it plans to release in June. It has Roman Coppola’s “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” hitting theaters in February and Sally Potter’s “Ginger and Rosa” and Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” releasing in March.