Sundance 2020: Amazon snaps up Uncle Frank
James R | On 30, Jan 2020
Amazon Studios has snapped up the rights to Uncle Frank following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
The film, which stars Paul Betany, follows a closeted gay man who comes out to his family. Set in 1973, it sees teenage Beth (Sophia Lillis) leave her rural hometown to study at New York University where her estranged uncle Frank (Bettany) is a revered literature professor. She soon discovers that Frank is gay and secretly living with his longtime partner, Wally (Peter Macdissi). After the sudden death of family patriarch Mac (Stephen Root), Frank returns home for the funeral with Beth and Wally in tow, and finally faces his family with the truth.
The drama is written and directed by Alan Ball, whose CV ranges from Six Feet Under and True Blood to American Beauty. In front of the camera, the cast includes Steve Zahn and Margo Martindale.
The film debuted at Sundance last week, with Amazon swiftly stepping in to acquire the rights in a deal that Variety reports totalled approximately $12 million.
The deal follows the acquisition of Boys State by Apple TV+ and His House by Netflix, as well as Amazon’s own deal for the North American rights to Phyllida Lloyd’s Herself. Amazon dominated the festival’s marketplace in 2019, including a record deal for Late Night.
Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute