In one of the buzziest buys of the Sundance Film Festival so far, Open Road Films and Sony Pictures jointly won the bidding battle for “Dope,” Rick Famuyiwa’s hip-hop-addled, coming-of-age comedy for the millennial set. Trailer below.
“Dope” centers on the subcultures, gangsters and drug dealers dwelling in a hardscrabble Inglewood, CA. Shameik Moore plays Malcolm, frontman of a nerdy punk band called The Bottoms, who’s pulled into a debauchery-filled netherworld of offbeat characters and bad behavior after scoring a chance invite to a big underground party. Drawing comparisons to “Superbad,” “Go,” “Pulp Fiction,” as well as “Boyz n the Hood” and the “Friday” series, the film has already captured strong reviews and great word-of-mouth.
TWC, A24, Fox Searchlight and Focus were among distributors bidding into the wee small hours this weekend. Deadline pitches the Open Road/Sony deal at $7 million, and with a very healthy prints and advertising budget of $15 million, the distributors are eagerly throwing their weight behind what looks to be an indie hit.
Open Road will handle stateside release, with Sony Pictures taking care of international distribution.