Upstart distrib beats Weinstein Co. for hot Sundance title

A24 has closed a deal for North American rights to James Ponsoldt’s teen dramedy “The Spectacular Now,” starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, and the upstart distrib will release the hot Sundance title this summer.

Deal is believed to be for low seven figures according to sources.

“(500) Days of Summer” scribes Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter adapted the novel by Tim Tharp. Producers include Tom McNulty of Global Produce, Shawn Levy of 21 Laps Entertainment, Andrew Lauren and Michelle Krumm.

Teller stars as an alcoholic high school senior who lives for the moment, while Woodley plays the the introvert he attempts to “save” from her bookish ways by dating her. As their relationship deepens, the lines between right and wrong, friendship and love, and saving and corrupting become inextricably blurred.

Pic co-stars Brie Larson,Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler, Dayo Okeniyi, Bob Odenkirk and Andre Royo.

Variety’s review said the film is “a bittersweet ode to the moment of childhood’s end [that] builds quietly to a pitch-perfect finale.”

“We fell in love with this film the minute that we watched it and we know the rest of the country will embrace this timeless love story. James has directed a wonderful film that depicts young love with complete authenticity and has two young stars giving incredible performances with Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley,” said A24 in a statement.

“I am so thrilled that the film has found a home with a company that has such passion for it.  It’s been an amazing Sundance and we are so gratified by the incredibly warm response here,” added Lauren.

“Spectacular Now,” which was originally set up at Fox Searchlight before going the indie route, premiered in competition on Friday night.

A24′s upcoming releases include Roman Coppola’s “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” and Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring,” as well as Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” and Sally Potter’s “Ginger & Rosa.”

UTA Independent Film Group negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. UTA also reps Ponsoldt.

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