'The D-Train' and 'The Witch' sell at Sundance
So far, the sales and acquisitions of indie films at this year’s festival have been fast and furious. Unlike 2014’s Sundance, which was relatively sluggish on the pick-up front, several fest entries landed Hollywood distribution before the proceedings in Park City even began.
And on Sunday, IFC announced it has snagged the rights to the Jack Black comedy The D-Train for a reported $3 million. The directorial debut of Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel, it follows Black’s suburban sad sack dad character—the chairman of his high school reunion committee—as he embarks on a mission to get campus cool guy turned Hollywood actor (James Marsden) to come to their 20-year reunion.
It’s a desperate and borderline pathological bid for popularity. But arriving in LA (having created an elaborate ruse to trick his boss and wife), things get dicey when the former classmates start downing shots, swallowing muscle relaxers, and doing bumps of cocaine in a nightclub bathroom. Marsden and Black end up in bed together, and their hookup results in no small number of unforeseen consequences.
On Saturday, A24 and DirecTV also teamed up to acquire U.S. distribution rights to the buzzy horror film The Witch ahead of its Tuesday Sundance premiere. Foreshadowing the Salem witch trials of 1692, the movie focuses on a New England farm family who succumb to their own worst fears, turning on one another after their son vanishes and crops start dying.