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The Orchard Picks Up Taika Waititi’s Sundance Crowdpleaser ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’

The Orchard Picks Up Taika Waititi's Sundance Crowdpleaser 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople'

The Orchard has picked up all North American distribution rights to Taika Waititi’s “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival last weekend to favorable reviews. The deal, which closed for just under $2 million and includes a traditional theatrical release, will reunite Waititi with the distributor after their successful collaboration last year for the home video release of the director’s critically acclaimed vampire mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows.” Paladin handled the film’s theatrical run.

Based on a tale by the prolific New Zealand novelist Barry Crump, “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” stars newcomer Julian Dennison as a “very bad egg” named Ricky. Tovie follows the defiant young child’s adventure with his grumpy foster uncle (played by Sam Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues to find them, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together in order to survive.

“This film captures so much of what we love about Taika – it’s wildly funny, endearing, smart and it deserves as big an audience as possible,” said Paul Davidson, The Orchard’s SVP, Film and Television, in an official statement. “We pursued this film for all of those reasons but also because we genuinely love being in business with Taika.”
“We developed a really strong relationship with The Orchard on ‘What We Do In The Shadows,'” added the filmmaker. “They did such a great job on that release that I’m really pleased to be partnering with them again on ‘Wilderpeople.’ I’m excited the film will be getting a theatrical release in North America. It was the main thing we wanted coming into Sundance, so we’re all going home happy.”

CAA negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers and Craig Sussman on behalf of The Orchard. No release date has been set, but expect the distributor to debut the film in theaters sometime this year.

READ MORE: Watch: Meet Sundance’s Most Dangerous (and Cutest) Kid in ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ Trailer

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