Record Cannes Deal for 'Story Of Your Life'

Earlier this year, we did the biggest deal in Berlin Film Festival history. Not content with this, we just closed the biggest deal in Cannes Film Festival history!

Paramount Pictures announced today it has acquired U.S., Canadian and China distribution rights to the feature film Story of Your Life from director Denis Villeneuve and starring Academy Award®-nominee Amy Adams.

This is a clear record deal brokered by Lava Bear’s David Linde with WME Global’s Graham Taylor and our very own Glen Basner. Glen was also in the middle of the $7 million Berlin deal with TWC for The Imitation Game, which was a record setter for that festival. 

FilmNation Entertainment, in partnership with Lava Bear Films, is financing, producing and handling additional worldwide sales for the project. 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Levine are producing with FilmNation and Lava Bear Films. FilmNation will handle international sales of the film and is making it available to buyers at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, beginning today. The studio is expected to release the film in 2016.

Villeneuve directs the sci-fi thriller from a new draft of a script by Eric Heisserer, who will also executive produce. From the award-winning short story by Ted Chiang, one of today’s most celebrated science fiction writers, the film is centered on the landing of alien crafts around the world, and the expert linguist (Adams), who is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.

“Denis is an enormously talented filmmaker, with an innate ability to make very broad and entertaining films that are also deeply personal and character driven. And Amy is someone we have long admired, from our earlier experience together on THE FIGHTER and seeing therange of rolls she’s tackled since, we are just thrilled to be working with her again,” said Adam Goodman, President of Paramount’s Film Group. “This is an exciting project and seeing the incredible talent that was drawn to it, and knowing we would be getting the chance to partner again with Glen and his team at FilmNation, along with Shawn and David, it became a priority for us to get involved.”

In a joint statement, Lava Bear’s David Linde and FilmNation’s Glen Basner said, “Paramount’s appreciation for everything about this project was immediately impressive and we are thrilled to have found our domestic home with them.”

“There is something so special about this project that attracted such rare talents as Amy Adams and Denis Villeneuve. Together, we see a film that is as conceptually complex as it is emotionally resonant and wecouldn’t be happier that Paramount shares our passion for it,” said 21 Laps producers Levy and Levine.

Villeneuve most recently directed PRISONERS starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as INCENDIES which was nominated for an AcademyAward® for Best Foreign Language Film in 2011.

Adams most recently starred in the Academy Award®-nominated films AMERICAN HUSTLE and HER, and will next been seen in BIG EYES.

FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder will oversee production along with Tory Metzger on behalf of Lava Bear Films, and Levine and Dan Cohen at 21 Laps. Paramount Pictures’ acquisition executive Eben Davidson brought the project into the studio.

Amy Adams by Sachyn Mital