The early reviews have been full of praise for Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons’ leading performances, and so it should come as no surprise that some of its international rights have already been snapped up.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has announced that it has acquired rights for a handful of international territories, including our own shores here in the UK, as well as those of Scandinavia, Benelux, Eastern Europe (ex CIS), Greece, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Latin America.
Andrew, a promising 19-year-old drummer at a cutthroat Manhattan music conservatory, has little interest in being just a musician. Haunted by his father’s failed writing career and plagued with the fear that mediocrity just might be genetic, Andrew dreams of greatness. Determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps, he practices daily until his hands literally bleed. The pressure of success ratchets into high gear when he is picked to join the school band led by the infamous Terence Fletcher, a brutally savage music instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential. Under Fletcher’s ruthless direction, Andrew begins to pursue perfection at any cost—even his humanity.
Chazelle directs from his own script, adapting his own 2013 short film into a full feature.
No word yet on when Sony is looking to release this, but here’s to hoping that we won’t be kept waiting too long, because it sounds like Teller is cementing his status as one of the most talented actors of his generation, and then some. No doubt the US rights will shortly be secured, and the road to distribution can properly begin.
Park City, UT (January 16, 2014) – Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) has acquired rights to several international territories to this year’s 2014 Sundance Film Festival opening night feature film, WHIPLASH, starring J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller. Territories acquired include: UK, Scandinavia, Benelux, Eastern Europe (ex CIS), Greece, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Latin America.
The deal was made by SPWA’s Michael Helfand, Jon Freedberg and Chan Phung and international sales agency Sierra/Affinity on behalf of Bold Films. Directed and written by Damien Chazelle (Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench), WHIPLASH is adapted from a short film that won Sundance’s jury award for fiction in 2013 (also written and directed by Chazelle). Producers are Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, Michel Litvak and David Lancaster; with Jason Reitman, Gary Michael Walters and Couper Samuelson executive producing. Bold Films financed the movie.
WHIPLASH follows Andrew (Teller), a first-year college student as he begins his quest to become the core drummer of the top jazz orchestra in the country. Under the direction of a prestigious but borderline abusive instructor named Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), Andrew would do anything to become a famous musician. His commitment is put to the ultimate test when the unrelenting and eccentric band professor all but drives him to madness. Fletcher’s extreme teaching methods rattle Andrew’s faith in drumming…and in himself. In the end, the struggle is only worthwhile if Andrew is really the one-in-a-million talent that Fletcher believes him to be.
William Morris Endeavor (WME) is handling all domestic rights.