Quinto’s Margin Call Sold At Sundance
Financial drama Margin Call has been bought for US rights by Lionsgate and its subsidiary Roadside after a tense all night negotiation at Sundance. The deal, thought to be just under $2 million dollars, is a strong one for the $3.5 million budget drama which stars Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore and Zachary Quinto.
Quinto’s production company Before the Door is behind the film, which has been written and directed by first-timer JC Chandor. The word is that it will be rolled out on a platform release in the autumn to build up to an Oscar campaign. From our look at the first clips, a platform release would seem to be the way to go. The complex plot and script littered with financial terminology is a hard sell in a trailer and might scare off some potential viewers (Quinto’s character is an actual rocket scientist who now works as a risk analyst). From the clips, which were also out of chronological order, it was difficult to pinpoint the stakes for the individual characters, as the focus was on the larger issue of the potential crash. Allowing the film to build buzz from early adopters would certainly be a canny move, especially when even the film’s title is a financial term that is not in the common lexicon.
As the film shows the 24 hours before the market catastrophe I have started to think of it as a Financial Disaster Movie, though I won’t be shocked if the film’s publicist doesn’t latch on to that particular description. It appears that the characters will be secondary to the impending disaster ; Roadside co-VP Eric D’Arbellof says “It’s rooted in what really happened; the insider account really appealed to us. It gives you a sense of what the financial world feels like. The ticking clock feels organic.”
Cassian Elwes, who sold the movie, tweeted the following ; “I kept going through my head all the difficult parts of making Margin Call happen but the final result speaks for itself. Just so excited for JC, Neal, Kevin, Rob and Mike. And thanks to Zachary Quinto who inspired us all and was doing his genius turn in ‘Angels In America’ when this went down.” ‘
Margin Call will also screen at the Berlin Film Festival in February.