Amazon buys Sundance comedy Wiener-Dog
James R | On 27, Jan 2016
Amazon has bought another title at Sundance, snapping up the rights to Wiener-Dog.
Todd Solondz’s comedy, which stars Greta Gerwig, Danny DeVito, Kieran Culkin and Julie Delpy, tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading a certain kind of comfort and joy. Man’s best friend starts out teaching a young boy some contorted life lessons before being taken in by a compassionate vet tech named Dawn Wiener. Dawn reunites with someone from her past and sets off on a road trip picking up some depressed mariachis along the way. Wiener-Dog then encounters a floundering film professor, as well as an embittered elderly woman and her needy granddaughter.
The film marks the first time the director has entered a film at the indie festival in 20 years: in 1996, he famously took Sundance by storm with Welcome to the Dollhouse picking up the Grand Jury Prize.
Amazon’s deal for the domestic rights to distributing the film is in the low seven-figure range, reports Variety. While the international rights are not yet confirmed, the agreement marks an ongoing push from Amazon Studios to grow its slate of original titles. Earlier this month, Amazon snapped up the rights to Whit Stillman’s Love and Friendship and Complete Unknown, starring Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon, before the festival had even started. Other Sundance titles also bought by Amazon include Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea and Author: The JT LeRoy Story.
Netflix has been equally active on the indie circuit this year, although the VOD giant has avoided buying theatrical rights to films, after difficulties with distributing Beasts of No Nation in cinemas last year. Amazon’s deal for Wiener-Dog, though, requires it to partner with a theatrical distributor to screen it in US cinemas.