Duo splitting ‘Nines’ rights

Reynolds, Davis star in interlocking stories

Newmarket and Sony are going to “The Nines” for John August’s directorial debut.

The outfits are splitting North American rights for the ambitious pic, which preemed at Sundance this year. Newmarket will handle theatrical and Sony homevid and TV rights.

Deal reps Newmarket’s first acquisition from this year’s fest.

“It feels so good to be finally able to say it,” declared August, who also wrote the pic, noting that unless one seals a deal at the fest, negotiations can drag on for months. “I was shuttling this tape around town for a couple weeks.”

Pic stars Ryan Reynolds and Hope Davis in three interlocking stories with a heavy showbiz flavor. Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen produced with Dan Etheridge.

August called “The Nines” closer in spirit to “Go,” his first screenplay, than to the big projects with which he’s recently been associated, such as “Charlie’s Angels” and Tim Burton’s redo of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“It’s an experimental and kind of a challenging film,” August said. “Because of that, it needed somebody who can handle that.”

He noted that Newmarket has previously distribbed similarly challenging pics, such as “Memento” and “Donnie Darko.”

And, indeed, Newmarket founder Chris Ball said “The Nines” fits perfectly with the company’s fare “when you look at what we’ve done in the past.”

Sony, which has a robust acquisitions team under Peter Schlessel, has frequently paired with Newmarket on homevid.

As for August, the scribe is now back toiling as a writer for hire, penning a bigscreen adaptation of the “Shazam!” comicbook for New Line.

UTA brokered the deal.

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