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Focus Features Closes Deal for Miranda July’s ‘Kajillionaire’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Miranda July’s “Kajillionaire” is still in the black, but a different distributor has won the project out of the Sundance Film Festival.

With a late-hitting bid, Focus Features is closing in on a deal for worldwide rights to the movie in a sale worth somewhere in the mid-seven-figure range, insiders said. Universal’s prestige label came in nearly a week after A24, the previously reported frontrunner for the film, made an initial offer, sources added. If the deal closes, Focus will distribute the movie domestically, while Universal Pictures International will oversee its foreign roll-out.

July is a native of the Park City festival and one of its quirkiest, most beloved voices. She has numerous awards from the Cannes Film Festival for her notable movie “Me and You and Everyone We Know.” Her latest, which comes almost 10 years after her last directorial effort “The Future,” stars Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger.

Plan B Entertainment’s Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner produced the film with Youree Henley. Plan B’s Brad Pitt and Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Jillian Longnecker executive produced. UTA represents July, and UTA Independent Film Group handled the sale on her behalf.

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“In talking to Peter, Jason and Robert, it was obvious that their vision for ‘Kajillionaire’s release came from a really strong gut response to the movie; I’m so excited to collaborate with them,” said July of Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski, vice chairman Jason Cassidy, and president Robert Walak.

“Kajillionaire” follows a family of low-stakes grifters, Old Dolio (Wood) and her parents. They invite a chipper young woman into their insular clan, only to have their entire world turned upside down.

In his review, Variety‘s Peter Debruge called the film “label-defying,” and said July “devises a fresh strategy to offer an outsider’s perspective, focusing on 26-years-young [Wood], the oddly named daughter in a family of scammers — a dysfunctional ‘scamily’ if ever there was one.”

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