Neon, the U.S. distributor behind Bong Joon Ho’s Oscar winner “Parasite,” has won domestic rights to “Pig,” a revenge thriller from Nicolas Cage and first time filmmaker Michael Sarnoski, Variety has learned.
The Tom Quinn-led company came out ahead in a heated bidding war that ignited last week involving numerous competitors, sources said.
The deal is a glimmer of hope in an industry paralyzed by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, especially for movie theaters. Despite the timely demand for finished streaming content, and Neon’s partnership with Hulu, “Pig” will be released in theaters, at a to-be-determined date.
Writer-director Sarnoski’s film sees Cage as a reclusive truffle hunter in Oregon whose prize hunting pig is kidnapped, forcing him to return to old stomping grounds in Portland and confront his past. “Hereditary” actor Alex Wolff co-stars. The script is based on a story by Sarnoski and Vanessa Block, who will also produce alongside Pulse Films.
Endeavor Content, which led the sale and first showed promo footage at February’s Berlin Film Festival, will continue to seek international partners. Len Blavatnik’s Ai Films lead financing on the project with Escape Artists and Sweet Tomato Films, with additional investment from Steve Tisch.
BlockBox Entertainment, Valparaiso Pictures and Cage’s Saturn Pictures are also production companies on the film.. Key producers include Dimitra Tsingou, Thomas Benski, Ben Giladi, David Carrico, Adam Paulsen, Dori Rath, Joseph Restaino, and Tisch.
Sarnoski is repped by WME and MGMT.
“What began as a very personal project has transformed into a labor of love for so many talented people,” Sarnoski said when the movie was announced last September. “I’m thrilled for us all to be bringing this strange world to life.”
After cementing Oscars history with “Parasite,” Neon has been on an undeniable hot streak with other acclaimed titles like “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and “Apolo 11.” The company, along with Hulu, set the record for highest independent film sale in history of the Sundance Film Festival, for Andy Samberg’s “Palm Springs,” at just over $17.5 million.