Some 36 hours before Sundance shuts its doors for 2013, the acquisition news everyone anticipated with bated breath has been delivered. As reported by Deadline, the bidding war for Richard Linklater‘s Before Midnight, his third (if not precisely final) installment in the Before trilogy, went in favor of Sony Pictures Classics, who’ve ended up with a multi-territory deal (the UK included amongst that) for something reported to have gone “well into seven-figures.” I doubt they’ll make that back anytime soon, but we’re all grateful for that stretch on their own part.

Most important for interested audiences, after all, is “when,” and “when” is either undecided or unannounced — either way, not something coming down the wire. Maybe the summer? The warm season makes some kind of sense, given the sunny Greece locales (reaching there, admittedly), Before Sunset‘s own July release, and the great alternative it’ll offer against the loud and crashing studio spectacle. (Maybe someone at Sony is reading this and gleaning ideas.)

Plot details are being kept under wraps, depending on who you read; we were courteous enough to sing Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, and Linklater‘s praises without even delving into so much as what Jesse and Celine are up to nine years later, except to say it’s great to have them onscreen again. (This is my far-too-obvious way of telling you to read the review, no matter how much you really, really should.) Fear not the disclosure of news: Before Midnight is coming soon, and it sounds like this one’s going to leave a mark.

What do you think of Sony Pictures Classics handling Before Midnight?

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