Capping a busy first weekend in which the Toronto International Film Festival moved to the city's busy downtown entertainment district -- and opened its gleaming high rise festival centre, Bell Lightbox -- a distribution deal was sealed. U.S. rights to James Gunn's Toronto '10 film, "Super" were picked up by IFC Films, which will release the title under its IFC Midnight banner. The pact is likely to pave the way for more deals as the festival continues in Canada.
"Super" was embraced by midnight moviegoers on Friday night here in Canada and driven by generally positive notices on blogs and Twitter in the wake of the showing. IFC moves quickly to nab the title, starring Rainn Wilson.
Another key film is focus right now is Denis Villeneuve's "Incendies," which is likely to ink a pact later tonight here in Toronto. The film, a hit last weekend at the Venice Telluride Film Festival, arrived in Toronto with strong buzz going into today's press and industry screening. Insiders expect to announce a U.S. distribution deal for the movie ahead of its premiere at the new Bell Lightbox tomorrow night here.
"Incendies" and "Super" were two stand out buzz films for buyers amidst a number of others that seem to have arrived to mixed reactions. Among those where movies featuring some big names. David Schwimmer's "Trust," on the market here with big names Clive Owen and Catherine Keener, generated opposing opinions. Emilio Estevez' "The Way," featuring a role for his father Martin Sheen, garnered some good buzz as it debuted on the market. Meanwhile, Mitch Glazer's "Passion Play," starring Megan Fox and Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray, played quite poorly according to those inside the theater this weekend.
"Super", written by Gunn and produced by Miranda Bailey via her LA-based production company, Ambush Entertainment and Ted Hope, via his Gotham-based production company This is That, the sale was sealed following a reported "all-night auction" that concluded Sunday morning.
Arianna Bocco and Betsy Rodgers negotiated the pact with Graham Taylor at WME Global and Rich Klubeck at UTA on behalf of the filmmakers. The film which stars Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon, premiered Friday night at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.
In "Super," Frank’s (Rainn Wilson) wife leaves him for a seductive, psychopathic drug dealer (Kevin Bacon). Frank is transformed and the Crimson Bolt is born. With a hand-made suit, a wrench, and a crazed sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page), the Crimson Bolt beats his way through the mean streets of crime in hopes of saving his wife (Liv Tyler).
"James Gunn has made one of the most creative and subversive films of the year with an outstanding cast including Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon," commented IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring in a statement. "This is exactly the kind of film we want the IFC Midnight brand to be associated with."
Hanway Films is handling international sales and has already sold the film in over 15 foreign territories including: Italy (M2 Pictures), Australia (Village Roadshow), and Scandanavia (Svensk).
[Eugene Hernandez contributed to this article.]