EXCLUSIVE: In the first major acquisition deal on the ground here at the Toronto Film Festlval, Netflix is closing on Woman of the Hour, the fact-based thriller that marks the directing debut of Anna Kendrick. We’re hearing the deal is for around $11 million.
While some festival-bound pictures signed SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreements so cast members could make the trip, many didn’t. That’s because signatories especially streamers would not make quick deals on films when they are battling both WGA and SAG-AFTRA on a new deal. Woman of the Hour did not sign the IA, which is why this deal happened in the first weekend of the festival.
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Pic tells the stranger-than-fiction story of a young woman who actually won a date on The Dating Game with a man who turned out to be a notorious serial killer. Rodney Alcala was convicted or murdering at least eight women, but investigators believe the number could be as high as 130. The handsome and charming Alcala lured women by posing as a photographer looking for models. He had already been a registered sex offender, and was recently released from prison. Somehow he was accepted on the popular daytime Dating Game, where a woman asked questions of three bachelors that were concealed by a wall.
The contestant, Cheryl Bradshaw (played by Kendrick), chose the killer, but he turned out to be such a creepy stalker that she never went on the date. Daniel Zovatto plays the date from hell. The pic premiered Friday as a Special Presentation at the festival.
Ian McDonald wrote the script and Kendrick produced with Vertigo’s Roy Lee and Miri Yoon, and BoulderLight Pictures’ J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules. Stephen Crawford and Andrew Deane are exec producers along with Stuart Ford, Zach Garrett, Miguel A. Palos Jr, Ian McDonald, Joe Penna, Paul Barbeau, Sean Patrick O’Reilly, Mathew Helderman and Luke Taylor, and Tracy Rosenblum is co-producer. Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios financed with Bondit Media Finance.
CAA Media Finance brokered the deal with Range Media Partners.
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