Goldwyn buys ‘What Happened’

Samuel Goldwyn Co. acquired “What Happened Was …”– a sleeper hit of the Sundance Film Festival — adding another high-profile indie flick to its lineup.

“This is a very strong, intellectual, literary material,” said Cathy Schulman , Goldwyn’s director of acquisitions.

“It’s about adults.”

While not as widely seen at Sundance as Miramax’s “Clerks” or one of Goldwyn’s other Sundance finds, “Go Fish,””What Happened” won the fest’s Grand Jury prize and its Waldo Salt Screenwriting award.

The pic, a two-person drama of a first date that’s gotten raves for its acting, stars Tom Noonan (“Last Action Hero,””Manhunter” and “F/X”) and Karen Sillas (“Simple Men”). Noonan also wrote and helmed the pic. Robin O’Hara and Scott Macaulay produced.

Goldwyn doesn’t plan to tinker with the pic and expects a fall release. The deal also marks the third picture Goldwyn has picked up from Good Machine Production, a hot independent company headed by James Schamus and Ted Hope.

Goldwyn last year released Good Machine’s “The Wedding Banquet,” one of its most successful pix of the year. And earlier this year, it picked up “Eat Drink Man Woman,” another Good Machine production. Both films were directed by Ang Lee.

“We’re excited to be in business with Good Machine again,” Schulman said. “They’re excellent producers.”

The deal also continues a trend for Goldwyn, gambling on first-time helmers. The indie released the directorial debuts of Kenneth Branagh, Matty Rich and Jim Jarmusch.

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