PARIS — Scandinavian powerhouse Scanbox has added “Molly’s Game,” “Tully” and “Paterson” to its acquisition slate, beefing up a lineup that already includes several award-winning films at Cannes, including Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winner, “I, Daniel Blake” (pictured above).
Aaron Sorkin’s poker drama “Molly’s Game” and Jason Reitman’s comedy “Tully” — two of the hottest projects being shopped at Cannes’ market — were pre-bought by Scanbox, which has direct distribution operations in Sweden, Denmark and Finland, and works with Norsk Filmdistribusjon in Norway.
“The acquisition of ‘Molly’s Game’ and ‘Tully’ at script stage underscores our strategy to bank on world-class talent and projects with attractive packages, especially when we come on board at such an early stage,” said Paris-based Chris Briggs, partner and board member at Scanbox.
“Molly’s Game” marks the directorial debut of Sorkin, the critically-aclaimed screenwriter of “The Social Network,” “Steve Jobs” and “Moneyball.” Penned by Sorkin, the drama is based on the 2004 memoir by underground poker ringleader Molly Bloom titled “Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker.”
“‘Molly’s Game’ is one of Aaron Sorkin’s best screenplays — it’s electric, funny, fast-paced and has strong characters played by high-profile talent, Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba,” said Briggs, who also produced the Mel Gibson starrer “Blood Father,” the action-packed thriller written by Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff, which world-premiered in Cannes’s official selection.
“Tully,” penned by Diablo Cody, has Jason Reitman attached to direct and Charlize Theron set to star as a mother of three who unexpectedly forms a unique bond with a thoughtful, surprising and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully.
“‘Tully’ has a topical and surprising script. And again, it’s got a great package: Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody,” Briggs said.
On track to release 27 movies theatrically this year, Scanbox also snatched up Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” starring Adam Driver, which also premiered at Cannes.
Scanbox won five prizes at Cannes with “I, Daniel Blake” (Palme d’Or), Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” (best script and best actor), Xavier Dolan’s “It’s Only The End of the World” (Grand Prize) and Matt Ross’s Un Certain Regard player “Captain Fantastic” (best director).
Scanbox also had Nicolas Winding Refn’s “The Neon Demon” competing, Mohamed Diab’s “Clash” playing in Un Certain Regard and Paolo Virzi’s “Like Crazy” screening at Directors Fortnight.
“In the Nordics, where there is a large audience for upscale-entertainment-skewing adult demos, it helps to have the Cannes label because it suggests that pedigree and overall quality that this type of audience looks for,” said Scanbox’s general manager Thor Sigurjonsson.
“This year we had one of our best quarters with Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight,’ Todd Haynes’s ‘Carol,’ Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘Youth,’ Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s ‘Mustang’ and Grímur Hákonarson’s ‘Rams,’ and all but one — Tarantino’s film — played in Cannes across different sections. It’s a mix of solid reviews, great filmmakers and the so-called Cannes label, ” said Joni Sighvatsson, Scanbox’s L.A.-based CEO and chairman.
Scanbox is planning to release “I, Daniel Blake” in Scandinavia early next year, right before the awards season kicks off in the U.S.