North American rights to Benedict Cumberbatch’s civilian spy thriller “Ironbark” have been acquired by Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate out of the Sundance Film Festival, insiders close to the deal told Variety.
Roadside, the specialty label currently behind Oscar contender “Judy,” and partial owner Lionsgate emerged out of a competitive, days-long bidding process and won the title. UTA Independent Film Group repped filmmakers in the sale for domestic rights, with FilmNation handling international.
Spokespeople for Roadside and Lionsgate had no immediate comment on the matter. “Ironbark” previously sold out international territories at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. Lionsgate grabbed U.K. rights during those sales.
The movie was one of the most anticipated sales titles headed into the annual Park City event, and serves as confirmation that the sales marketing is heating up after days of premieres and overnight negotiations. The world premiere was held on Friday night at the Eccles Theater.
In “Ironbark,” Cumberbatch plays Greville Wynne, an ordinary man tapped by his government to help end the Cuban Missile Crisis. The movie was directed by Dominic Cooke (“On Chesil Beach”) from a script by Tom O’Conner. Cooke was artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre from 2007 to 2013. His National Theatre production of “Follies” was nominated for 10 Olivier Awards. Cooke began his transition to television and film with the BAFTA Award–nominated Shakespearean adaptation “The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses” for the BBC.
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“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan, Merab Ninidze, Jessie Buckley and Angus Wright co-star. Cumberbatch, who will film the sequel to Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” this summer, also serves as executive producer on the project.