Cannes is a month away and already the deals are percolating. Yesterday, The Weinstein Company paid upwards of $3 million for the Dustin Hoffman-directed Quartet. Now, I’m told EOne is closing in on a deal to pay $2 million for North American and UK distribution rights to Cosmopolis, the David Cronenberg-directed adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel that stars Robert Pattinson as financial wunderkind Eric Packer, who risks his entire fortune to bet against the yen on a tumultuous day.
His deed puts him in the crosshairs for assassination in a drama that is a study of capitalism in a slightly futuristic metropolis. Most of the scenes in the book take place in the limousine that transports Packer from place to place. Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti and Samantha Morton also star. eOne has distribution pipelines in Canada and England, but it will likely have to find a distributor for the U.S. Maybe it will be Bob Berney, whom, rumor has it, will be revealing his own distribution company at the upcoming Cannes, after leaving FilmDistrict last year. The acquisition price seems high, though Cronenberg certainly has a following in his home turf in Canada.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
The deal with Kinology gives the Canadian distributor the North American rights to the thriller that stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Paul Giamatti, ahead of its Cannes debut.
TORONTO – Entertainment One has acquired the U.S. and British distribution rights to David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis from Paris-based Kinology.
That gives Toronto-based Entertainment One the North American rights to Cronenberg’s latest film, which is to screen in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Canadian distributor earlier secured the Canadian rights to Cronenberg’s thriller, which is based on Don DeLillo’s novella of the same name.
Cosmopolis stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche andPaul Giamatti, and portrays a hedge fund trader who is stalked while his fortune evaporates.
Cosmopolis, a Canada-France co-production, is produced by Paulo Branco of Alfama Films andMartin Katz of Prospero Pictures, with Grégoire Melin of Kinology on board as a co-producer.
“Casting is a black art,” proclaims David Cronenberg. “You can kill your movie by making a mistake before you’ve even shot film.” When Robert Pattinson’s name was proposed for the lead role of Packer, Cronenberg watched much of his work—including the young actor’s role as Salvador Dali in Little Ashes—and he was sold: “Rob was the most interesting and exciting actor suggested for COSMOPOLIS, and I knew that he would bring something wonderful to the screen—maybe even something he didn’t know he had.” Under David’s direction, Robert delivers an edgy, understated performance. In fact, Robert notes that he has never felt “utilized to this degree as an actor,” and fellow cast member Paul Giamatti describes Robert’s casting as “genius.”
Ultimately, the choice rested on Pattinson’s talent and experience, with or without celebrity. Cronenberg found Robert mature and willing to challenge himself: “…Rob is not deluded about his fame; he understands that popularity is not the essence of being a good actor, and recognizes the danger of taking projects to please others rather than himself.” Bringing the egomaniacal Eric Packer to life required Pattinson to forget being a sympathetic character.
Cronenberg observes, “Some actors worry about not being appealing or sensitive, but that was never an issue for Rob; it was always about finding the often unlikeable truth of who Eric is and what it means to be a 25-year-old billionaire…. Rob is incredibly likeable, but he doesn’t need to be liked.” So Eric Packer, a financial god, perhaps soulless but with feet of clay, is realized by the charismatic, modest Robert Pattinson.
Robert was surprised and excited by the COSMOPOLIS offer. He recounts receiving the screenplay about a year earlier and thinking it was “one of the most original scripts” he’d read. However, he doubted he’d get the part: “Then the offer came out of the blue and I was amazed!” Praising David’s consistently “thought-provoking” and innovative work, Robert says he was certain about taking the part; however, he admits, “I had no idea how I was going to play it…. I was scared at first, mainly because I could interpret the script and play it so many different ways….” He didn’t have much time with David before shooting, but he knew he was in good hands. His trust in the director, as well as David’s in Robert, was wellfounded. “I could feel David moulding it as we shot, and that made me really comfortable because it meant there was no specific right or wrong way. Eventually, I was very relaxed, especially for it being such an intense piece.”
According to Cineuropa‘s article about Kinology’s sales at Cannes, the official Cosmopolis’ screening at the festival will be on May 25.
With three titles on show in the various Cannes selections, Parisian international sales agencyKinology, led by Grégoire Melin, is among the potential grand winners of the Film Market at the upcoming 65th Cannes Film Festival (May 16 to 27).
Kinology will complete already quite substantial sales for Canadian-French co-production Cosmopolis by David Cronenberg, a film to be officially screened in the festival’s competition on Friday, May 25.
RPLife‘s Note: Cineuropa is a very reliable site, but we don’t know if they’re confusing the screening date with the French release date (also May 25th). We’ll have confirmation soon. Cannes’ schedule should be released in a few days (on May 10th according to replies to fans’ emails from the official Festival’s site). We will know for sure then.
Let’s talk about your upcoming David Cronenberg–directed film, Cosmopolis,which stars Robert Pattinson. What’s your role?
I’m an art dealer. I only shot two days. The whole film takes place in a car. There are some scenes outside, but mostly it takes place in a limo. Cronenberg placed Robert on one seat, and I was the mover in the scene, so he let me improvise. It was fascinating to see how they would take time to light the car. It was like an art form almost, a painting. His [cinematographer], Peter Suschitzky, is very precise in that way.
Robert was stunned to be taken by Cronenberg, because he didn’t think he could do it. But Cronenberg believed in him. It’s amazing—a director sometimes makes you do bigger things than you imagine. You need to have, like, a midwife to give birth. You need this midwife in order to grow, and imagine these new layers in yourself.
on Wednesday May 30th at 8:30pm
More info coming soon (ETA: at the end of the day or of the week)
This is the official facebook page of the Parisian movie theater where a lot of movies premieres/screenings take place.
ETA: The movie will be screened in English with French subtitles. Tickets will be on sale soon.
ETA2: There will be a red carpet. Rob and David will be there to present the movie. There wont be a Q&A tho.