Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spread out by the Bay

Huzzzah! Good news today as Variety is reporting that Anchor Bay has purchased the North American and Australian rights to David Mackenzie's Spread starring Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche for 3.5 million! Now because I KNOW VERY LITTLE about all of this, I do know that Anchor Bay does DVD cause I have a slew of their children's editions for my child at home, but as Variety reports, the company is also sister to Overture Films, which does actual distribution in theaters, so hopefully lol Spread is going to play in theaters first before going to DVD (dont want a repeat of the disastrous four weeks in theaters for Mister Foe before coming out on DVD bleh suckage). The Hollywood Reporter adds this nugget:

Liberty Media subsidiary Anchor Bay Entertainment in October formed Anchor Bay Films, designed at releasing as many as ten films per year in theaters to augment its robust homevideo platform. "Spread" will go into this pipeline. With Kutcher as the star and an appealing premise, the title is thought to have a lot of homevideo upside, making a DVD powerhouse like Anchor Bay a logical choice.

Finallty, the Screen Daily piece notes that "the distributor, which is ramping up its theatrical operations, closed the deal with CAA and Endeavor Independent late on Friday afternoon [January 23] following several days of bidding. TVA acquired Canadian rights.

UPDATE: More from Indie Wire on this matter, which states"Endeavor Independent’s Graham Taylor and CAA negotiated the deal on behalf of Barbarian Films with Kevin Kasha from Anchor Bay. “Good things come to those who wait,” noted one tipster tonight, referring to a festival that has seen few sales as it enters its final weekend. The insider added that the deal involves an aggressive theatrical commitment and bonuses for the release."


“This is the biggest Anchor Bay films acquisition ever,” the company’s Kevin Kasha told indieWIRE late tonight, “What the Dimension brand meant to Miramax, that’s what we want Anchor Bay Films to be to our sister company Overture!” He continued, “We are thrilled to be in business with Ashton Kutcher and the ‘Spread’ team. On behalf of the entire Anchor Bay Films family, words do not do justice to express how excited we are!”

Bonus Six degrees of Sigma points: Overture also has the rights to Last Chance Harvey, the film that my fave Jamie Sives has a small role in- oooh spooky ;D

Right, well Variety also has a short interview with Spread star Ashton Kutcher online, where he speaks not only of his politicial initiative and good efforts to rally folks to serve again under our wonderful new administration woot (do it go check out the MySpace page, vlog post get off your tushy and volunteer somewhere anywhere GIVE BACK!), but also more relevant, on Spread. Quotage of interest:

Life in L.A. for the Iowa-bred Kutcher provides endless inspiration for his meta-schemes. So, when handed the script for "Spread," about a hustler navigating the city, Kutcher immediately thought the pic could recall Beatty's turn as George Roundy."I was fortunate enough to have breakfast with Warren two years ago," Kutcher says. "I started digging a little bit about 'Shampoo.' It's one of my favorite movies. It's a tale of Los Angeles through the eyes of this guy making his way."

In talking film, Kutcher departs from other stars at Sundance who cite characters' duality or themes of alienation. He frankly calls moviemaking "trying to make a high-quality piece of product" and tosses off motivational phrases like "success is a product of preparation."More than a lot of multihyphenates of his generation, though, Kutcher purposely steeps himself in the history of Hollywood, taking special note of those who didn't appreciate the sheer luck of it all.

A running gag in "Spread" has real estate agents and others referring to a particularly stunning Beverly Hills manse as "Peter Bogdanovich's house," probably an obscure reference for a lot of his young fans. But it's a bull's-eye in Kutcher's world, which is why he subbed Bogdanovich's name for another, better-known, star's in an early script."I was watching 'The Dick Cavett Show,'" Kutcher recalls, "and there was an interview with Peter Bogdanovich, Robert Altman, Mel Brooks and Frank Capra. Peter Bogdanovich had just finished 'Last Picture Show' and he was the hot business. And he rolls onto the show just being the business."

The payoff, as on "Punk'd" or his virtual treasure hunt or even, in a more constructive way, the Obama video, is what happens at the end. It's the comeuppance. "Bogdanovich had the answer to every single question that anyone could ask. I was just going, 'What is he doing?! Look around you!'"I ran into him a couple months later and brought up the interview and he was like, 'I was such an arrogant prick.' And I have to owe it to someone who owns up to that."

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