×

Sundance: Amazon Buys ‘Landline’ Starring Jenny Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

Amazon Studios has nabbed U.S. rights to “Landline,” a family dramedy that reunites the “Obvious Child” team of Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre.

The film unfolds in the pre-cellphone days of the 1990s. It co-stars Edie Falco, John Turturro, Jay Duplass and Abby Quinn. “Landline” centers on a dysfunctional Manhattan family. Slate plays a neurotic 30-something who is barreling towards a breakdown on the eve of her wedding. In a breakout performance, Quinn plays her high-school age sister, who is showing signs of teenage rebellion.

The sale continues Amazon’s torrid clip at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where “Landline” debuted to solid reviews last week. The streaming giant picked up “The Big Sick,” a comedy from “Silicon Valley’s” Kumail Nanjiani, in a massive $12 million pact. It also bought the Grateful Dead documentary “Long Strange Trip.”

The “Landline” pickup comes hours after Amazon became the first streaming service in history to score a best picture nomination for “Manchester by the Sea.” Amazon bought the drama out of Sundance in 2016.

This year’s Sundance has been dominated by Amazon and Netflix, another digital player that’s invested heavily in independent film. Netflix came to the festival with eight films, and has also been an active buyer, snapping up the rights to “Icarus,” “Chasing Coral,” and “Fun Mom Dinner.”

“Landline” will get a traditional theatrical release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but insiders peg it in the mid-seven figures. Robespierre co-wrote the film and produced it with Elisabeth Holm. Gigi Pritzker and her banner OddLot backed the film, along with Russell Levine on behalf of Route One Entertainment. It’s been a good morning for OddLot, which nabbed four Oscar nominations, including a best picture nod, for “Hell or High Water.”

UTA Independent Film Group negotiated the “Landline” deal. Foreign rights are still available through Nick Meyer at Sierra/Affinity.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 'Elephant' Review: Less Majestic Than the

    'Elephant,' Narrated by Meghan Markle: Film Review

    Of all the members of the animal kingdom we think of as akin to humans — chimps, dolphins, whales, perhaps (if we’re being honest about it) our dogs — elephants may be the most movingly and preternaturally aware. Because you can see how intelligent they are. You see it in a chimp’s face, too, of [...]

  • Ken Shimura

    Ken Shimura Japanese Comedian Dies of Coronavirus Age 70

    Ken Shimura, a comedian who was a fixture on Japanese television for decades, died on Sunday evening from the coronavirus, the Japanese media reported Monday. He was 70, and immediately before his illness had been set for his first starring role in a feature film. Shimura entered a Tokyo hospital on March 20 with fever [...]

  • Gerard Schurmann, Film and TV Composer,

    Gerard Schurmann, Film and TV Composer, Dies at 96

    Gerard Schurmann, whose 1960s film scores included “The Bedford Incident” and “Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow” but who also composed extensively for the concert hall, died March 24 at his home in the Hollywood Hills. The cause of death was not announced; he was 96. Schurmann’s death was announced by his music publisher, Novello & [...]

  • Rita And Tom Hanks Coronavirus

    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Return to U.S. After Coronavirus Diagnosis in Australia

    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are back home in the U.S. after they revealed they had contracted coronavirus and were quarantined in Australia. Hanks gave an update on Twitter Saturday morning, thanking everyone who had helped them in Australia and assuring people that they are still isolating themselves in the U.S. “Hey, folks…We’re home now [...]

  • Film Comment Magazine Goes on Hiatus

    Film Comment Magazine to Go on Hiatus as Film at Lincoln Center Lays Off Half of Staff

    Many companies are being financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Film at Lincoln Center is the latest organization to have to lay off employees and pause some of their operations. On Friday, executive director Lesli Klainberg released a memo announcing that the center had to furlough or lay off about half of its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content