In their third pickup from this year's Sundance roster, Sony Pictures Classics acquired U.S. and Latin American rights to John Michael McDonagh's comedy/thriller, "The Guard," which is screening in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.
Starring Brendan Gleason and Don Cheadle, the film is described as the story of "an unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality who teames up with an uptight FBI agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring." (Check out indieWIRE's review of "The Guard" here.)
The deal was negotiated on behalf of the producers by Rena Ronson and David Flynn of UTA and Metropolis Film Sales with Sony Pictures Classics.
Ahead of the festival's start last Thursday, SPC also picked up Morgan Spurlock's "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" and "Take Shelter" directed by Jeff Nichols. The latter film was acquired sight unseen, an act that's less risky than it might seem: They're longtime fans of both producer Sarah Green and star Michael Shannon, and were impressed by Nichols' first film, "Shotgun Stories," which also starred Shannon.
[Editor's Note: Details about territorial rights to "The Guard" were added after this article's original publication.]