Following up last year’s exceptional Smashed, which debuted at Sundance and came away with a much-deserved Special Jury Prize, James Ponsoldt has returned to the festival this year with The Spectacular Now.
The film had its world premiere on Friday night out in Park City, and has been earning very promising early reviews, which is exactly what we’d expect from Ponsoldt.
And as a measure of just how promising the reactions have been, A24 have already acquired its North American distribution rights, within days of the film’s premiere.
“Sutter Keely lives in the now. It’s a good place for him. A high school senior, charming and self-possessed, he’s the life of the party, loves his job at a men’s clothing store, and has no plans for the future. A budding alcoholic, he’s never far from his supersized, whisky-fortified 7UP cup. But after being dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter gets drunk and wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finicky hovering over him. Not a member of the cool crowd, she’s different: the “nice girl” who reads science fiction and doesn’t have a boyfriend. She does have dreams, while Sutter lives in a world of impressive self-delusion. And yet they’re drawn to each other.”
Rising young stars Miles Teller (Project X) and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) star in the young leads. They are joined by a fine supporting cast, headed up by Brie Larson (Rampart), Jennifer Jason Leigh (eXistenZ), Kyle Chandler (Argo), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), who reunites with Ponsoldt after her exceptional leading performance in Smashed.
Ponsoldt is directing from a script by co-writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber ((500) Days of Summer), who adapted the original novel by Tim Tharp.
The Spectacular Now is set for release this summer in the US, and we’re really hoping that its UK release will be following shortly after. My fingers are tightly crossed that it will be one of the films chosen to cross the Atlantic for Sundance London in April.
“A24 announced the acquisition of North American rights to Sundance favorite THE SPECTACULAR NOW. The James Ponsoldt directed film, from a script by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, has become one of the darlings of the Sundance Film Festival and features breakout performances by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. Film also features wonderful turns by Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler and Andre Royo. Film premiered on Friday night at Sundance in US Dramatic Competition. A24 will release the film this summer.
“We fell in love with this film the minute that we watched it and we know the rest of the country will embrace this timeless love story. James has directed a wonderful film that depicts young love with complete authenticity and has two young stars giving incredible performances with Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.” says A24.
Producer Andrew Lauren says, “I am so thrilled that the film has found a home with a company that has such passion for it. It’s been an amazing Sundance and we are so gratified by the incredibly warm response here.”
THE SPECTACULAR NOW was produced by Tom McNulty, Shawn Levy, Andrew Lauren, and Michelle Krumm.
The deal was negotiated with A24 by UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers, all represented by UTA.”
Source: via Deadline.