'Hesher' scores a U.S. home at film festival

Deals came fast and furiously at Sundance over Wednesday night.

Publisher Hannover House’s film and vid arm has picked up Joel Schumacher’s dark teen chiller “Twelve” for around $2 million.

Plans are for a major-market theatrical rollout this year. Hannover has released a handful of titles theatrically, but until now hadn’t jumped into bigger films. A private equity fund is backing title acquisitions for Hannover.

“It’s a very significant investment for us,” said Hannover CEO Eric Parkinson. “In order for us to really thrive, we have to step up.”

“Twelve” was produced by France’s Gaumont, Radar and Original Media, with CAA packaging the financing. Gaumont, both a production and a distribution company, financed “Twelve.”

Gaumont sparked to the script by Jordan Melamed and wanted to make a Schumacher film. “As a low-budget indie-style film, we could go into production without pre-sales,” Gaumont chairman Sidonie Dumas told Variety.

“Twelve,” based on the best-selling tome by Nick McDonell, chronicles the violent and drug-fueled exploits of privileged Manhattan teens. Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin star along with 50 Cent, Ellen Barkin and Kiefer Sutherland.

Former Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. distribution chief Tom Ortenberg will consult with Hannover on the pic’s North American rollout through his One Way Out Media consulting shingle.

“Twelve” is Sundance’s official closer. Its first public unspooling is at Park City’s Eccles theater Friday evening.

In other action, Newmarket plunked down around $1 million in an early-morning deal for the U.S. distribution rights to Spencer Susser’s “Hesher.” A Canadian deal for the pic is currently closing.

“Hesher” premiered here last week to mixed industry reaction but has continued to be a crowdpleaser.

Film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a mayhem-prone loner who takes up with a family still reeling from a death. Pic also features Devin Brochu, Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson.

Newmarket plans a fall release for “Hesher.”

John Hopewell contributed to this report.

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