×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

10 Buzziest Films at Sundance Film Festival 2018

Studio executives flock to Park City hoping to find the next big thing in indie film. It’s a chance to get their hands on the newest “The Big Sick,” the kind of powerful movie that has what it takes to break out into the mainstream. A number of films heading to the festival are already generating heat, sight unseen. Variety runs down the movies that are most likely to spark all-night bidding wars.

Damsel Sundance Film Festival
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Damsel

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Forster
Directors: David Zellner & Nathan Zellner
Sales agent: ICM
Why Buyers Are Circling:
Pattinson may have hung up the fangs, but the “Twilight” star still commands crowds (particularly overseas). This offbeat western sounds like a change of pace for the recovering tween idol.

Blaze Sundance
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Blaze

Cast: Benjamin Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Josh Hamilton, Charlie Sexton
Director: Ethan Hawke
Sales agent: Cinetic
Why Buyers Are Circling:
Studio suits will turn out for Hawke, the éminence gris of the indie world, but they’ll come away impressed by Dickey, an unknown actor who has a showy role as a songwriting legend.

Monsters and Men Sundance
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Monsters and Men

Cast: John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Sales agent: WME
Why Buyers Are Circling:
This ripped-from-the-headlines look at a police shooting is being talked up as the next “Fruitvale Station.”

Hearts Beat Loud Sundance
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Hearts Beat Loud

Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Toni Collette
Director: Brett Haley
Sales agent: WME
Why Buyers Are Circling:
Haley is returning to Sundance for the third time in four years. His previous efforts, “I’ll See You in My Dreams” and “The Hero,” became unexpected art-house hits, giving him commercial cred.

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. Sundance
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.

Director: Stephen Loveridge
Sales agents: Cinetic, Dogwoof
Why Buyers Are Circling:
The film boasts unprecedented access to the controversial pop star, following M.I.A. through the making of her chart-topping hits and battles with the music industry.

White Fang Movie Sundance
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

White Fang

Cast: Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Eddie Spears, Paul Giamatti
Director: Alexandre Espigares
Sales agent: UTA
Why Buyers Are Circling:
The animated adaptation of Jack London’s wolf tale has crowd-pleaser written all over it.

Wildlife Movie Sundance
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Wildlife

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould
Director: Paul Dano
Sales agent: WME
Why Buyers Are Circling:
The coming-of-age drama marks Dano’s directorial debut. The tony pedigree — it’s based on a Richard Ford novel — and the cast make it a must-see.

Studio 54 Sundance
CREDIT: Bettmann Archive/Sundance Film Festival

Studio 54

Director: Matt Tyrnauer
Sales agent: Cinetic
Why Buyers Are Circling:
A return to the center of ’70s nightlife — a font of sex, celebrity and mountains of cocaine. What’s not to love?

The Catcher Was A Spy Sundance
CREDIT: Dusan Martinecek/Sundance Film Festival

The Catcher Was a Spy

Cast: Paul Rudd, Jeff Daniels, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti
Director: Ben Lewin
Sales agent: UTA
Why Buyers Are Circling:
The incredible true story of a pro baseball player, lawyer and linguist who helped the U.S. fight the Nazis. You can’t make that stuff up.

Assassination Nation Sundance
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Assassination Nation

Cast: Suki Waterhouse, Odessa Young, Bella Thorne, Bill Skarsgård, Joel McHale
Director: Sam Levinson
Sales agent: WME
Why Buyers Are Circling:
This vigilante tale, about a town getting up in arms (literally) when their digital histories and text messages are hacked, packs a grindhouse wallop.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Yuni Hadi

    Singapore Film Festival to Reflect South East Asian Spirit of Cooperation

    Yuni Hadi, executive director of the Singapore International Film Festival, says South East Asian cinema contains exciting talent. And that the way forward involves cooperation with the video streaming platforms. What have been the high and low points of the cinematic year for Southeast Asian cinema? “There are some amazing short films and documentaries that [...]

  • Adele Haenel Adèle Haenel

    Accusations Against Roman Polanski and Other Filmmakers Propel France's #MeToo Movement

    When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke two years ago, the news was mostly met in France with a Gallic shrug. Screen icon Catherine Deneuve even denounced the #MeToo movement as creating a “totalitarian” environment. But bombshell accusations this month from actors Adèle Haenel and Valentine Monnier may finally have turned the tide in the local film [...]

  • Peppa Pig

    U.K. Competition Watchdog to Examine Hasbro's $4 Billion Deal for Entertainment One

    Britain’s competition watchdog will investigate Hasbro’s $4 billion takeover of Entertainment One. The Competition and Markets Authority said Thursday that it would examine whether the intended acquisition of eOne would result in a “substantial lessening of competition” under U.K. rules. The CMA was deeply involved in scrutinizing the sale of Sky, which was ultimately bought [...]

  • The Courier

    Film Review: 'The Courier'

    You don’t expect subtlety from a movie whose very first second consists of the heroine getting a fist to her face, or whose poster suggests the real “star” is her leather-clad posterior. Still, a bagful o’ hammers might provide exactly the same amount and type of entertainment value as “The Courier.” This stridently dumb action [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    AFI Fest Film Review: Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell'

    Can you recall who was responsible for 1996’s Centennial Olympic Park bombing? Three days after the incident, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (accurately) reported that Richard Jewell, the security guard who discovered a backpack containing three pipe bombs and tipped the police, sparing the lives of innumerable concertgoers, had become the FBI’s main suspect. But was it [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content