Cannes: ‘The Lobster’ Selling to Alchemy (EXCLUSIVE)

The Lobster Cannes Film Festival
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Alchemy is in final negotiations to acquire U.S. rights to Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster,” Variety has learned. The futuristic love story stars Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Lea Seydoux.

The deal came four days after the film’s world premiere in competition at Cannes. Guy Lodge called the film “wickedly funny” in his review.

It’s the English-language debut of Greek director Lanthimos, who received critical acclaim for “Dogtooth.” The film, which also stars John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw and Olivia Colman, is a blackly funny love story set in a dystopian near future where single people are arrested and transformed into animals of their choosing if they fail to find a mate within 45 days.

Farrell plays a single man who checks into a hotel to find a mate, then joins a rebel group and falls in love with Weisz’ character.

“The Lobster” was shot in Ireland the spring of 2014 with Lanthimos directing from a script he co-wrote with  Efthimis Filippou. It’s produced by Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Ceci Dempsey and Lanthimos. The film was developed by Element, and Irish finance for the film came from the Irish Film Board with Rory Gilmartin as the lead executive for the IFB.

CAA brokered the deal for the U.S. rights to “The Lobster.”

It’s the third Cannes acquisitition for Alchemy, which has also acquired U.S. distribution rights to Gaspar Noe’s sex-infused threesome drama “Love” and to Italian director Nanni Moretti’s comedy-drama “Mia Madre” starring Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini, Beatrice Mancini and Moretti.\

Alchemy specializes in independent distribution with a catalog of over 650 titles. It rebranded itself  last year, changing its name from Millennium Entertainment, and has been acquiring rights this year to film festival titles such as Mitch Dickman’s marijuana documentary “Rolling Papers,” Antoine Bardou-Jacquet’s action-comedy “Moonwalkers” and post-apocalyptic thriller “The Survivalist.”