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Goldwyn, Sony make big splash in ‘Squid’ bid win

Pair to ride 'Whale' tale

Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sony have jointly pacted to buy worldwide rights to writer-helmer Noah Baumbach’s Sundance competish pic “The Squid and the Whale.”

Studio and indie banner will co-distribute in all territories, with Goldwyn taking the lead in North America. Sony will lead the overseas charge on “Squid” via its Sony Pictures Releasing Intl. unit.

Together the banners sank about $4 million for the rights.

“Squid” stars Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline in the story of two brothers dealing with the breakup of their intellectual parents in Brooklyn circa 1986.

Anna Paquin and William Baldwin also star. Wes Anderson produced “Whale” with Peter Newman, Charlie Corwin and Clara Markowicz.

Reverge Anselmo, Miranda Bailey, Andrew Lauren and Greg Johnson exec produced.

Pic drew interest off the bat at Sundance, with Goldwyn particularly aggressive. Producers decided to weigh offers and close after the fest.

“We found Samuel Goldwyn and Sony Pictures to be the most passionate companies in their belief in the artistic merit of the film and its commercial possibilities,” said Newman, who repped the filmmakers with Johnson through the Gotham Sales banner. Attorney Donna Bascom and manager Brad Gross also negotiated for the “Squid” team.

Meyer Gottlieb and Peter Goldwyn repped Goldwyn in the deal.

Sony, which has a trio of specialty arms under its wing in Sony Pictures Classics, TriStar and Screen Gems, let its genre specialist Screen Gems do the talking on its behalf through senior veep of acquisitions and co-productions Benedict Carver.

Baumbach took directing and screenwriting awards when Sundance wrapped last month.

Pic will roll out this fall.

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