After weeks of haggling following the Cannes Film Festival, Amazon Studios is in final negotiations for the drama “Elvis & Nixon,” Variety has learned.
The film will debut in theaters only, and the theatrical rollout will be handled by Bleecker Street as part of the deal.
“Elvis & Nixon” tells the story of the infamous meeting between Elvis Presley (Michael Shannon) and Richard Nixon (Kevin Spacey) in 1970. Several buyers had expressed interest in the project (based on early footage alone), including Lionsgate and Bleecker Street, but Amazon was able to land it. The deal has been in the works for more than a month, with the pricetag climbing over $3 million, according a source.
It’s a significant victory for the Internet juggernaut that now wants to enter into the crowded field of releasing original movies. Ted Hope, the seasoned indie producer who recently ran Fandor, stepped into Amazon’s film production side earlier this year, looking for buzzy hits similar to what “Transparent” did for the company’s TV division.
Amazon also recently signed deals with filmmakers Terry Gilliam and Jim Jarmusch. Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” will finally see the light of day after 20 years in development. Jarmusch’s project is still under wraps, but could potentially be about a New Jersey poet and bus driver.
“Elvis & Nixon” is directed by Liza Johnson and was shot earlier this year in New Orleans. It’s produced by Cassian Elwes, Holly Wiersma and Cary Elwes.
CAA and Cassian Elwes handled the deal.