Amazon Studios, Warner Bros. Teaming on ‘The Goldfinch’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The Goldfinch
Courtesy of Back Bay Books

Warner Bros. is finalizing a deal with Amazon Studios to co-finance its film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” Variety has learned.

As part of the pact, Amazon will invest more than a third of the movie’s budget, which is estimated to be in the $40 million range, according to insiders. In return, it will get streaming rights to the picture on its Prime service. It will also launch the picture on home entertainment platforms in what is commonly referred to as the pay-TV window, the term for when movies debut on premium cable channels such as HBO and Showtime.

Warner Bros. will distribute the film in theaters worldwide. There were several other parties interested in boarding the project, but Amazon was the most aggressive. The e-retailer believes the project is a good fit for its customer base, because Tartt’s novel was a big seller on its platform. It also views the partnership on the movie as a good branding opportunity.

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Warner and RatPac had picked up rights to the Pulitzer-winning book back in 2014. RatPac is also an investor in the film as well as a producer. “Goldfinch,” which earned critical raves for its Dickensian plotting, tells the story of a young man named Theodore Decker who survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum — an attack that kills his mother. From there he tumbles through a series of adventures that finds him living in Las Vegas with his deadbeat father and, later, involved in art forgeries.

Ralph Fiennes is being eyed for the role of Hobie, an antiques dealer, who befriends the boy. At some point, the studio also talked to Liam Neeson about the possibility of taking on the Hobie part, while Julianne Moore was approached to play Theodore’s mother, but no deals materialized. John Crowley (“Brooklyn”) will direct the film.

Amazon has moved aggressively into the film space in recent years, scoring Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea” and “The Salesman.” It had a hit this summer with “The Big Sick,” a romantic comedy with Kumail Nanjiani, and will be releasing Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” and Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” this fall.

Spokespeople for Amazon and Warner Bros. declined to comment.

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  1. LYNNETTE PEASE says:

    While I was reading the book I could not stop seeing Jeremy Irons as Hobie. Diane Lane would be great for Theo’s mom.

  2. jd says:

    Loved this book until the Amsterdam section near the end when an editor should have stepped in to tell her no. Looking forward to a film version of this but to truly do it justice, its going to have to be nearly 3 hours long. I would have thought someone older than Ralph Fiennes should play the role of Hobie and hopefully Julianne Moore doesn’t choose the role because as much as I like her, the character would be a waste of her talents.

  3. estrella says:

    So glad Juliane Moore said no. She is an awful choice for Theo’s mom.

  4. lynda obst says:

    This is such a great idea and such a great way for studios to partner with digital and make original movies

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