On the heels of Miramax's big-ticket purchases of The Castle, Jerry and Tom and Next Stop, Wonderland, Trimark caged Slam--the gritty, drama verité about a Washington, D.C., poet jailed on petty drug charges--for $2.5 million. The final deal point in the 36-hour negotiation reportedly came down to a toss of the coin.
Meanwhile, the hottest ticket in town continues to be the "Heathers goes to college" flick Dead Man's Curve, about students who plot to kill their roommate and make it look like suicide.
"It's in the high seven figures," reports one of the film's hot, young stars Matthew Lillard (Scream), who added that there are five offers on the table and two more studios joining the fray following a sold-out midnight screening last night. A deal that size would eclipse Miramax's pair of $6 million purchases this year and rival the $10 million Castle Rock paid for The Spitfire Grill several years ago--the deal that inaugurated the age of free spending at Sundance.
Sundance buzz has also helped a pair of actresses ink new deals with the big leagues. Hope Davis, the radiant lead of Next Stop, Wonderland (and who appeared at Sundance last year in The Myth of Fingerprints) signed for Arlington Road with Tim Robbins, Jeff Bridges and Joan Cusack. And up-and-comer Clea Duvall (dubbed "the next Claire Danes" by one industry wag) will play Charlize Theron's sister in the Johnny Depp film The Astronaut's Wife.
Of course, it wasn't all business. Keb Mo and the Neville Brothers entertained crowds at a Northwest Airlines-sponsored party, and indie kings Joel and Ethan Coen mingled with filmmakers into the wee hours of the night at a Park City bar.