×

Toronto: Amazon Nabs ‘Sound of Metal’ With Riz Ahmed

Amazon has acquired “Sound of Metal,” Variety has learned.

The drama looks at a heavy metal drummer who is beginning to go deaf, and features a bravura performance from Riz Ahmed. It marks the feature film directing debut of Darius Marder, who also penned the script. Olivia Cooke co-stars. Reviews were strong after the film premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Many viewers noted the visceral use of sound design to illustrate the experience of a musician losing his hearing.

IndieWire’s Eric Kohn called the film “mesmerizing” and added “Ahmed’s brilliant performance coasts on a complex soundscape that resonates even in total silence.” Ahmed learned to play the drums and picked up American Sign Language to play the role.

“One of the most beautiful things about being an actor is learning new skills. It’s such a unique gift, and this film was fully transformative,” Ahmed told Variety.

The pact is for U.S. rights and includes a theatrical release. Amazon has endured a rough period at the box office. The summer it released “Late Night,” a Mindy Kaling comedy that it picked up at Sundance, but failed to generate much in the way of ticket sales. Other recent flops include “Peterloo,” “Beautiful Boy,” and “Life Itself.” The studio did score a best foreign language film and best director Oscar nomination for 2018’s “Cold War” and the jury is still out on “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” another Sundance acquisition that is still in limited release. Upcoming features include the Adam Driver thriller “The Report” and the Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones adventure film “The Aeronauts,” which earned strong reviews at Toronto.

Popular on Variety

Other studios were interested in the movie, including Neon. Protagonist Pictures is selling international rights.

More Film

  • Black Panther

    What's Coming to Disney Plus in March 2020

    Disney Plus will continue to expand its library next month, adding older films as well as new television shows, releasing as both weekly episodes and entire seasons. After streaming on Netflix for over a year, Marvel’s “Black Panther” is making its way to Disney Plus, leaving just “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” [...]

  • Bob Chapek

    What Disney's Theme Parks Reveal About New CEO Bob Chapek

    Theme parks and resorts aren’t likely top of mind for the industry set when they think of Disney. But in light of the recent (and very swift) appointment of parks and consumer products head Bob Chapek to succeed Bob Iger as Disney CEO, Chapek’s recent interviews at the parks offer a few insights about the [...]

  • The Invisible Man Movie

    Box Office: 'The Invisible Man' Emerges with Strong $23 Million Opening

    Elisabeth Moss’s “The Invisible Man” is dominating North American moviegoing and should scare up about $23 million at 3,610 locations, early estimates showed Friday. The third weekend of Paramount’s family film “Sonic the Hedgehog” and the sophomore frame of Disney-20th Century’s “Call of the Wild” are in a race for second in the $13 million [...]

  • Cahiers du Cinema

    Cahiers du Cinema Still Alive, Awaiting New Editor-in-Chief

    Les Cahiers du Cinema, the iconic publication that was a driving force behind the French New Wave, is weathering an unprecedented crisis following the resignation of the majority of its staff on Thursday. Some of its journalists, however, have decided to remain on board while they await the appointment of a new editor-in-chief. Among the [...]

  • Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe on 'Escape From Pretoria' and Why He Won't Play Harry Potter Again

    Daniel Radcliffe continues to move far away from Hogwarts with “Escape From Pretoria,” a riveting, true-life prison drama that’s gritty, grounded and wholly different from the fantasy franchise that made him a star. The indie release hits theaters on March 6 and finds Radcliffe playing Tim Jenkin, an anti-apartheid activist who was imprisoned in South [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content