Brittany Runs a Marathon: Amazon races to $14m Sundance deal
James R | On 30, Jan 2019
Amazon has once again splashed a huge sum on a new indie fresh out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, acquiring the rights to Brittany Runs a Marathon.
Written and directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo, the comedy-drama stars Jillian Bell as a woman who decides to turn her life around by committing to running a marathon. The film premiered on Monday at the Eccles Theater in Utah and, within hours of its crowd-pleasing debut, fierce bidding began on the rights, with Lionsgate and Netflix both rumoured to be interested in the movie. Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, though, stepped in to negotiate and ultimately see off other suitors.
The huge sum follows a similarly record amount of $13 million spent on Mindy Kaling’s Late Night. While that deal was just for US rights, though, Amazon’s deal for Brittany gives the online giant the global rights to the project. The film, which is based on Colaizzo’s roommate, co-stars Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Michaela Watkins, Micah Stock, Mikey Day, and Alice Lee. A co-production between Material Pictures and Pictures Films, the deal was brokered by Endeavor Content.
Amazon may not be finished at the festival yet, though, with Amazon also competing to win the rights to documentary Knock Down the House, and losing out on Blinded by the Light to New Line and The Farewell to A24. Amazon’s return to the festival after a relatively quiet 2018 sees the rejuvenated streamer looking to repeat the success of its indie acquisitions The Big Sick and Manchester by the Sea in 2017.