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‘Maps to the Stars’ Acquired by Focus World for 2015 Release (EXCLUSIVE)

David Cronenberg's drama, which next plays the Toronto Film Festival, may sit out the 2014-15 awards season

After winning the best actress award in Cannes for “Maps to the Stars,” Julianne Moore was considered a strong bet in this year’s Oscar race for her turn as a washed-up star in the David Cronenberg drama. But the overdue actress, who has been nominated for four Academy Awards without winning, could be sitting out of awards season.

In a deal that closed last week, Focus World picked up U.S. distribution rights to the Cronenberg drama from Canadian outfit Entertainment One (eOne), sources tell Variety exclusively. “Maps to the Stars” won’t premiere stateside until early 2015.

Focus World is the alternative distribution division of Focus Features, and it hasn’t been decided if the drama will be released on VOD, play in theaters domestically or some combination thereof. “Maps” could get an Oscar qualifying theatrical release at the end of 2014, so that it would at least be eligible for Academy Awards nominations, according to one individual with knowledge of the deal, but a movie with that kind of strategy can sometimes get lost in the slew of December contenders.

“Maps to the Stars” will screen this fall at the Toronto International and New York Film Festivals, which are traditionally launching pads for Oscar contenders. On Sept. 9, Moore is scheduled to appear at a cocktail event following a screening of the film at Toronto.

“Maps to the Stars” premiered at Cannes to mixed reviews, although Moore was singled out by critics as delivering one of the best performances of her career. The film is a dark deconstruction of celebrity culture and co-stars Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson, who previously worked with Cronenberg on “Cosmopolis.” Bruce Wagner (“Wild Palms”) wrote the screenplay.

Co-financed by eOne and Prospero Pictures, “Maps to the Stars” was produced by Prospero’s Martin Katz, SBS Productions’ Saïd Ben Saïd and Michel Merkt. Sentient Entertainment’s Renee Tab and eOne’s Benedict Carver executive-produced the film.

EOne Films International handles worldwide rights to “Maps to the Stars,” and will directly distribute the film in Canada, the U.K., and Australia and New Zealand. The movie opens in Canada on Oct. 31, and will rollout to other regions of the world starting this year.

WME negotiated on behalf of eOne with Anjay Nagpal, SVP, and Gene Kang, VP of Business Affairs, representing Focus World.

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