The film, starring Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts, had been picked up by Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate before its debut in competition at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The film was booed at its premiere.
Gus Van Sant directed the movie, in which McConaughey portrays an American who travels to Japan’s “Suicide Forest” with the intention of taking his own life after the death of his wife, played by Watts, and decides to help a Japanese man (Ken Watanabe) who is lost. Roadside Attractions had not given the film a release date.
A24 took a similar step in February when it picked up U.S. rights to Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark comedy “The Lobster,” which had been purchased by Alchemy at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Alchemy was hit by financial problems earlier this year. A24 has seen nearly $7 million in domestic grosses for “The Lobster” since its May 13 release.
Ken Kao’s Waypoint Entertainment fully financed and produced “The Sea of Trees.” Producers are Kao, Gill Netter, Kevin Halloran, F. Gary Gray, Brian Dobbins and Allen Fischer.
CAA and WME brokered the original deal for “The Sea of Trees” with Roadside and Lionsgate, and the move to A24.