Sundance: Damien Chazelle’s ‘Whiplash’ Lands at Sony Classics

Director's highly praised debut starring Miles Teller marks fest's first major U.S. deal

Marking the first major U.S. acquisition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has bought domestic rights to writer-director Damien Chazelle’s opening night film “Whiplash,” Variety has confirmed.

Whiplash,” which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, received high praise, including from this publication, after premiering Thursday night, sparking interest among most of the major buyers. And while Teller has gotten serious buzz for his performance as an aspiring college musician under the tutelage of an abusive instructor (played by Simmons, who also has people talking), neither actor is a big enough name yet to have created a major bidding war among buyers, sources say.

The deal is reported to have been made for around $3 million, however.

SEE ALSO: ‘Whiplash’ Review: J.K. Simmons Shines in Damien Chazelle’s Stellar Debut

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group nabbed much of the international rights to “Whiplash” before it premiered in Sundance.

“Whiplash” is adapted from Chazelle’s short film that won Sundance’s jury award for fiction last year. Producers are Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, Michel Litvak, Nicholas Britell and David Lancaster; Jason Reitman, Gary Michael Walters and Couper Samuelson exec produced.

Variety film critic Peter Debruge called “Whiplash” a “stellar career-starter” for Chazelle, who “proves an exceptional builder of scenes, crafting loaded, need-to-succeed moments that grab our attention and hold it tight.”

More Biz

  • Steph Curry Uncovered

    Steph Curry Says He Would 'Jump' at the Chance to Act

    Marking the first major U.S. acquisition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has bought domestic rights to writer-director Damien Chazelle’s opening night film “Whiplash,” Variety has confirmed. “Whiplash,” which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, received high praise, including from this publication, after premiering Thursday night, sparking interest among most of the […]

  • Unanimous Media Jeron Smith

    Listen: Stephen Curry's Right-Hand Man in Hollywood Talks Their Content Strategy

    Marking the first major U.S. acquisition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has bought domestic rights to writer-director Damien Chazelle’s opening night film “Whiplash,” Variety has confirmed. “Whiplash,” which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, received high praise, including from this publication, after premiering Thursday night, sparking interest among most of the […]

  • PBS 2015 Winter TCA

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks Dismissal of Ashley Judd Blacklist Suit

    Marking the first major U.S. acquisition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has bought domestic rights to writer-director Damien Chazelle’s opening night film “Whiplash,” Variety has confirmed. “Whiplash,” which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, received high praise, including from this publication, after premiering Thursday night, sparking interest among most of the […]

  • Red Bull Music Festival

    Red Bull Music Festival Berlin Announces 2018 Lineup

    Marking the first major U.S. acquisition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has bought domestic rights to writer-director Damien Chazelle’s opening night film “Whiplash,” Variety has confirmed. “Whiplash,” which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, received high praise, including from this publication, after premiering Thursday night, sparking interest among most of the […]

  • Will Smith arrives at the U.S.

    Will Smith, Japanese Soccer Star Keisuke Honda Launch Dreamers Fund

    Marking the first major U.S. acquisition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has bought domestic rights to writer-director Damien Chazelle’s opening night film “Whiplash,” Variety has confirmed. “Whiplash,” which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, received high praise, including from this publication, after premiering Thursday night, sparking interest among most of the […]

  • Matt Sawin Capitol Music Group

    Caroline Names Matt Sawin Executive VP

    Marking the first major U.S. acquisition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has bought domestic rights to writer-director Damien Chazelle’s opening night film “Whiplash,” Variety has confirmed. “Whiplash,” which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, received high praise, including from this publication, after premiering Thursday night, sparking interest among most of the […]

  • Universal Music Group

    Universal Music Launches Nigerian Division

    Marking the first major U.S. acquisition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has bought domestic rights to writer-director Damien Chazelle’s opening night film “Whiplash,” Variety has confirmed. “Whiplash,” which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, received high praise, including from this publication, after premiering Thursday night, sparking interest among most of the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content