A new movie focusing on television is closing in on a record sale price for the Sundance festival. Deadline reports that Mindy Kaling’s “Late Night” became the focus of a bidding war over the weekend, with Amazon Studios reportedly in advance negotiations on a $13 million deal for the U.S. rights to the film.
Kaling wrote, produced and stars in the project, which is directed by Nisha Ganatra. Also in the cast are Emma Thompson and John Lithgow.
“While there have been bigger worldwide rights deals made at past Sundance fests — ‘The Birth of a Nation’ went for $17.5 million several years back — this is the rare U.S.-only deal to hit 8 figures,” Deadline reports. “It exceeds past pacts for Sundance films that include the $12 million deal made by Amazon for ‘The Big Sick,’ for U.S. and some other territories. That film became a commercial breakout hit for the distributor.”
Deadline adds: “In the film, a veteran late-night talk show host (Thompson) feels the pressure that might cost her job to a shinier shock comic (Ike Barinholtz). She tries to switch things up and modernize the show with several stunts that backfire. She also changes the all-male writer’s room, adding the show’s first female writer of Indian descent (Kaling). Much of the film is about the relationship that develops between them.”