Antoine Fuqua's "Brooklyn's Finest" closed a deal on Saturday night at the Sundance Film Festival, with North American rights going to Senator Distribution, Inc. Buzz began building around the film after Friday night's world premiere at the Eccles Theater in Park City. The story of "cops and crooks" (ala "Training Day"), "Finest" stars Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes and Ellen Barkin.
In a pact brokered by CAA and William Morris, Senator CEO Marco Weber and president Mark Urman scored the first major deal at Sundance '09. The film screened as a work-in-progress director's cut last night in Park City with filmmaker Fuqua set to work with Senator to complete the film. Sony is an ancillary partner on the release.
Senator, which has its April 10th release "The Informers" screening later this week in Park City, is planning a fourth quarter 2009 release for the movie.
A relatively new player on the scene, Senator has a slate that mixes films produced by Weber and company acquisitions. Detailing the Senator approach, Mark Urman told indieWIRE tonight that he and his colleagues are eyeing, "films that are independent in that they are not studio-produced, but these are films that are still crossover [titles]. All of them are star-driven, they are films that we envision going out expansively...on hundreds and hundreds of theaters."
Urman said that he was struck by the film's performances, its gritty realism and "an almost operatic narrative." Asked to comment on the economics of the deal, Urman quipped to indieWIRE, "I never talk about economics, except with my partners."