Hot on the heels of Whiplash being the first big deal made over at the Sundance Film Festival this year, Zach Braff‘s much anticipated sophomore feature Wish I Was Here seems next in line to have a buyer in Park City. After a well received first screening that had a number of studios interested, including CBS Films, Fox Searchlight, and The Weinstein Company, it appears that Focus Features is going to be the one to acquire it. Starring Braff, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Joey King, and Josh Gad, it appears that the multi hyphenate has another indie success in the making. The full story is below, but I’m very eager to see this one hopefully sooner rather than later.
Here’s the article from The Hollywood Reporter:
Wish I Was Here, actor-director Zach Braff’s Kickstarter-funded follow-up to his 2004 directorial debut Garden State, is nearing a deal to be acquired by Focus Features, according to sources.
The sale price is approximately $2.75 million, according to one source, with a significant theatrical commitment of about 600 theaters.
Wish I Was Here, from production companies Double Feature Films, Second Stix Films and Worldview Entertainment, premiered Saturday to mostly positive (and some critical) reviews. (Read THR’s rave review here.) Braff’s comedic dramedy centers on a thirty-something actor coming to terms with his life in the face of his father’s illness and his life’s dreams unfulfilled. Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin and Josh Gad co-star.
Producers are Braff, brother Adam Braff, Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg.
The first film from a major star to be funded by crowdfunding site Kickstarter, Wish I Was Here is said to have generated strong interest from CBS Films and Lionsgate in an auction conducted by CAA.
The move would mark the first big festival acquisition by Focus since owner Universal Pictures replaced CEO James Schamus with Peter Schlessel in the fall and shifted its focus from purely arthouse pics to a more commercial sensibility.
–Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!