EXCLUSIVE: here is the hot project for international buyers for next week’s Cannes Market. Sony Pictures has preemptively acquired U..S rights to Miramax’s herea film adaptation of the celebrated Richard McGuire graphic novel that will reunite the Forrest Gump team: Academy Award winners director Robert Zemeckis, screenwriter Eric Roth and star Tom Hanks, with Robin Wright also starring. It’s the quartet’s first time back together since the 1994 film classic, which won six Oscars including Best Picture.
Deadline revealed the package as it was forming in February, before Wright was in the picture. Miramax’s Bill Block stepped up with backing, and then came Sony Pictures Motion Group chairman/CEO Tom Rothman to land US rights. He is planning for a theatrical release in 2023 in time for awards season. Miramax retains international rights and will present the film to international buyers in Cannes.
Zemeckis and Jack Rapke’s ImageMovers (Flight, Polar Express, Cast Away) will produce alongside Block (The Gentlemen, Furyupcoming The Holdovers).
Based on McGuire’s graphic novel, here is described as a breathtaking and revolutionary odyssey through time and memory. The innovative story is centered around a place in New England where from wilderness, and then, later, a home – love, loss, struggle, hope and legacy play out between couples and families over generations. The film begins production in September.
Wright was last to join, and she comes off directing and starring in Landand acclaimed turns in House of Cards and wonder-woman.
Miramax’s Block called it “a privilege to serve the vision of these renowned creators. We look forward to bringing this unique visual and emotional experience to the world.”
Said Rothman: “I had the privilege to observe close at hand, Bob and Tom break the typical storytelling mode with Castaway, to audiences’ immense delight. With here, Eric and Bob have written another, perhaps even more remarkable, exquisitely emotional, and entirely unique story. At Sony, we believe in originality and in supporting great artists pushing the boundaries and so we are grateful to Bill Block and all the filmmakers for letting us join this grand journey.”
The deal was negotiated by Jon Freedberg, EVP Content Strategy & Operations for Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films. The auction was brokered by CAA Media Finance’s Roeg Sutherland. CAA reps Hanks and Roth, the latter of whom is managed by Adam Berkowitz of Lenore Entertainment Group and lawyered by Alan Wertheimer and Darren Trattner. Wright is with CAA and attorney Logan Clare. WME reps Zemeckis and ImageMovers.
The acquisition furthers the studio’s relationship with Hanks, whose A Man Called Otto just wrapped production, with Sony releasing it in theaters December 25.