Sony gets ‘Austenland’ after all

Exclusive/FilmDistrict talks never led to deal; SPWA worldwide, SPC domestic

Sony Pictures Worldwide Releasing has made a deal for director Jerusha Hess’ freshman outing “Austenland,” which also marks the producing debut of “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer. Sony Pictures Classics will distribute for North America.

Though the word Sunday night was that Exclusive Releasing and FilmDistrict were set to scoop up “Austenland” in a 50/50 worldwide split, no deal was ever in place. Other offers were on the table when Variety reported the pairing as the likely winner — offers that hung around long enough to tip the balance to SPWA.

“We love this movie,” SPWA said in a statement. “It announces the birth of a major filmmaker and Stephenie Meyer is truly a force of nature. We look forward to bringing ‘Austenland’ to American audiences.”