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Sundance: Fox Searchlight Acquires Mike Cahill’s Sci-fi Mystery ‘I Origins’

Distrib released helmer's first film 'Another Earth' in 2011

UPDATED: After acquiring Mike Cahill’s directorial debut “Another Earth” at Sundance three years ago, Fox Searchlight has closed a deal to acquire worldwide rights to the helmer’s sophomore pic, “I Origins.”

The sci-fi mystery starring Michael Pitt and Brit Marling, who also starred in Cahill’s “Another Earth,” premiered Jan. 18 eliciting mixed reactions from festgoers, who responded to the film’s cosmic romance and big ideas of reincarnation.

The deal was made for around $3 million, according to sources, with no minimum P&A spend or theatrical release commitment.

Fox Searchlight plans to release the film this year.

I Origins” marks the only pick-up for Fox Searchlight at the fest so far. The distrib, which came to the festival without any in-house productions, has been more cautious after last year’s pricey acquisition of “The Way Way Back,” though it ultimately crossed $20 million at the domestic box office.

While plenty of festgoers were cool toward “I Origins,” the film has its share of passionate supporters. That bodes well for the film’s commercial prospects, though widespread appeal is questionable.

Variety‘s Peter Debruge compared the film to such cult favorites as “Primer” and “Upstream Color,” calling “I Origins” a “crazy-ambitious sophomore feature (that) refuses to let a modest budget constrain its larger-than-life-itself concept.”

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