×

Toronto: Paramount Buys Charlie Kaufman’s ‘Anomalisa’

Paramount Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to “Anomalisa,” the stop-motion film from directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson.

The purchase follows screenings at film festivals in Telluride, Toronto and Venice. Domestically, the film will be released on Dec. 30, 2015 in New York and Los Angeles, making it eligible for awards consideration.

Kaufman, who penned “Being John Malkovich” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” is a big draw with cinephiles. “Anomalisa” marks Kaufman’s first foray into stop-motion animation. Co-director Johnson is perhaps best known for overseeing “Community’s” 2010 animated Christmas episode.

It marks Paramount’s second major purchase at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Last weekend the studio bought U.S. rights to biopic “Florence Foster Jenkins,” starring Meryl Streep and directed by Stephen Frears.

Last year, the studio was particularly aggressive, snapping up Chris Rock’s “Top Five” for $12.5 million. Despite a strong reception at Toronto, however, the comedy was a box office disappointment when it debuted last year.

“Anomalisa” centers on an inspirational speaker who checks into a bizarre hotel. It has earned strong reviews.

“As when Wes Anderson dabbled in stop-motion for ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox,’ it’s a strange medium in which to find a perfectionist,” wrote Variety’s Peter Debruge. “But that’s life, which, ironically, Kaufman and company seem to have done a fine job of conjuring in this most artificial of formats.”

The film was partially funded via a Kickstarter campaign and is a Starburns Industries, Snoot Entertainment production. The voice cast includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis.

CAA and WME Global brokered the deal with Erik Hyman of Loeb & Loeb on behalf of the filmmakers. The studio’s negotiating team was lead by Paramount Senior Vice President of Acquisition and Production Eben Davidson and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs David Miercort. Hanway Films handled international sales.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Charlie Kaufman directed “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

More Film

  • Alamo Drafthouse

    Alamo Drafthouse Storms into L.A. with New Location

    “Cinema is alive and well tonight!” Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League declared at the theatrical venue’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday night, where a gathering of 160 employees cheered and sliced into a strip of 35mm film in keeping with the company’s tradition. Despite dire predictions heralding the end of the theater-going experience, League was upbeat [...]

  • The Lion King Teaser

    'The Lion King' Leaping to $185 Million North American Debut

    Disney’s “The Lion King” is heading for a dominant $185 million opening weekend in North America, early estimates showed Friday. Should that number hold, “The Lion King” will record the second-best opening of 2019 — and give the sagging domestic box office a badly needed boost. “The Lion King” would replace “Incredibles 2,” which launched [...]

  • Joe Anthony Russo

    Russo Brothers Announce 'Grimjack,' Live-Action 'Battle of the Planets' Adaptations

    Joe and Anthony Russo are looking to their youth to populate the development slate at their production company AGBO. A relatively obscure comic book called “Grimjack” will count the Russos as producers for an adaptation, they announced at San Diego Comic-Con. They’re also cooking up a live-action adaptation of the animated show “Battle of the [...]

  • Chadwick Boseman stars in 21 Bridges

    Watch Chadwick Boseman Hunt Down Killers in New '21 Bridges' Trailer

    Shots are fired in a new trailer for “21 Bridges,” starring Chadwick Boseman and J.K. Simmons, released during a Comic-Con panel today. The heist-thriller, produced by Joe and Anthony Russo of “Avengers: Endgame,” stars Boseman as an NYPD detective Andre Davis who finds himself embroiled in a city-wide manhunt after two cops are accused of [...]

  • David Crosby and Cameron Crowe'David Crosby:

    Cameron Crowe Picks Five Favorite Underrated David Crosby Tracks

    “Music is love,” as David Crosby once sang, and nothing breeds deeper love than a sense that something is overlooked. So that’s why Variety asked Cameron Crowe to dig deep into the Crosby canon and pick not just a triad but five favorites from among the CSN singer’s most underrated tracks. Crowe, of course, has [...]

  • Halloween

    New 'Halloween' Movies Set for 2020, 2021

    Universal Pictures has unveiled back-to-back “Halloween” sequel movies that will open in 2020 and 2021. The studio made the announcement Friday, noting that last year’s “Halloween,” starring Jamie Lee Curtis and directed by David Gordon Green, went on to become the highest-grossing installment in the horror franchise at more than $250 million worldwide. The first [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content