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Sundance: CBS Reads ‘The Words’; ‘Black Rock’ Goes to LD

Written by on January 22, 2012 

Should it come as a shock that the most commercial film of Sundance is one of the first to be picked up? I’d think not. On that note, Deadline reports that CBS Films have bought The Words, a drama led by Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, and Jeremy Irons that centers on “a writer (Cooper) who, at the peak of his literary success, discovers the price he must pay for stealing another man’s (Irons) work.”

Words won’t be playing until the closing night, but a screening held yesterday morning yielded a positive reaction from buyers — though that’s not the only thing to make it a priority. Deadline says that the film contains “the perfect elements that make it catnip for distributors looking for films that have a shot at a real theatrical release,” and one of those said elements is its star power. Knowing this, you can probably deduce why it was worth the $3.5 million price tag.

The Words also stars Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Ben Barnes, John Hannah, Nora Arnezeder, and J.K. Simmons, and has been written & directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal.

The other acquisition news — also from Deadline — concerns Black Rock, a horror feature from sophomore filmmaker Katie Aselton and writer Mark Duplass; LD Entertainment have acquired the picture for a theatrical release — and they’ve done so in the six-figure range. The cast is decidedly small, being comprised of the director, Kate Bosworth, and Lake Bell, making the purchase by a lesser-known group fairly understandable.

Rock, described as “a mix between Deliverance and Thelma and Louise,” centers on “[t]hree female friends [who] set aside personal issues and organize a girl getaway weekend on a remote on the coast of Maine.” Though, as usually happens with these things, something goes wrong, and it all turns into “a deadly fight for survival.” Reviews of this one haven’t been too great, but Magnolia, IFC, Lionsgate, and Gold Circle are reported to have all been in contention since the film premiered last night. Make of that what you will.

Does either film sound like a smart buy?


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