Ned Benson's “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” was a big risk gone right. It was his first feature film and it was broken up into two parts: “Him” and “Her,” showing both sides of a failing marriage, the couple played by Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy.
Despite its unusual format, it was a hit at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival and spawned a bidding war, with the Weinstein Co. finally acquiring its rights, reportedly for more than $3 million. But for Benson, who started working on the idea eight years ago, getting people to bet on such an unusual concept wasn't easy.
“It was extremely difficult,” he says of pitching both parts, which he also directed. “We got a ton of passes and a ton of people pressuring me to turn it into one film.
“Ultimately, it's just about perseverance and thinking that the concept was interesting enough to try.”
Next he's adapting Danny Wallace's “Charlotte Street” and Steve Martin's “Object of Beauty,” and will write and produce “Too,” with his producing partner Cassandra Kulukundis. — Alex Stedman
Reps: UTA; Lawyers: Alan Grodin, Weintraub Tobin
Inspirations: Paddy Chayefsky, Paul Thomas Anderson