With less than two weeks until the launch of Sundance 2017, another movie has already sold. A24 has scooped up worldwide distribution rights to David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” Variety has learned.
The spooky drama reunites Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, who starred in Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” which debuted at Sundance in 2013. “A Ghost Story” will premiere as part of the festival’s Next section. A24 had such confidence in the film, they bought it sight unseen, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.
The movie is produced by Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Adam Donaghey, and Liz Franke. Lowery, who previously directed Disney’s 2016 remake of “Pete’s Dragon,” also wrote the script.
Just a year ago, Casey Affleck went to Sundance with “Manchester by the Sea,” the Kenneth Lonergan drama that sold to Amazon Studios for $10 million. Since then, that indie has grossed more than $30 million at the U.S. box office, as one of this year’s major Oscar contenders, which is expected to earn Affleck a best actor nomination.
“A Ghost Story” is one of several of this year’s Sundance movies that have sold before the festival even began, as distributors are trying to avoid all-night bidding wars with new deep-pocketed players. That’s an early sign this year’s festival could be a robust market. As Variety exclusively reported, Sony Pictures Classics bought world rights for the love story “Call Me By Your Name” for roughly $6 million. And Netflix has scooped up the documentary “Casting JonBenet,” about the 1996 murder of 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant JonBenet Ramsey.
WME Global Entertainment handled the deal for “A Ghost Story.”