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A24 and DirecTV Acquire Sci-Fi Romance ‘Equals’

The Hollywood Reporter : Drake Doremus directed the film, which first premiered at Venice and then TIFF.

A24 is closing a deal to acquire U.S. rights to sci-fi love story Equals.

Equals, which stars Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult, first screened at the Venice International Film Festival, but the deal-making kicked off after the North American premiere at TIFF on Sept. 13.

Drake Doremus, whose film Like Crazy won Sundance’s grand jury prize, helmed Equals, which tells the story of Nia (Stewart) and Silas (Hoult), co-workers in a utopian future where human emotion has been genetically eliminated. When there is word that a disease has broken out that causes the remanifestation of emotion, Silas and Nia are confirmed to have the disease. The two must then decide to stay in their current reality, with the possibility of being found out and promptly dealt with, or to run away toward their possible freedom. Nathan Parker wrote the screenplay.

After Equals’ TIFF premiere, several buyers aggressively pursued the project including A24 and Sony Pictures Classics, among others.

The film also stars Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver. Route One Entertainment financed along with Freedom Media and Surefire Entertainment Capital. Scott Free’s Michael Schaefer and Michael Pruss, Ann Ruark, Jay Stern and Chip Diggins produced. Scott Free’s Ridley Scott, Route One’s Russell Levine, Lee Jae Woo and Choi Pyung Ho executive produced.

UTA Independent Film Group repped domestic rights, while Mister Smith Entertainment handled international.

Variety : A24 and DirecTV are close to acquiring U.S. rights for the sci-fi drama “Equals” starring Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult, Variety has learned.

The film, which premiered at Venice, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Drake Doremus, who earned critical raves for 2011’s Sundance grand-jury-prize winner “Like Crazy,” directs the picture which offers up an off-beat take on the science-fiction genre.

The deal for the film was made with DirectTV, which will first debut the picture, before it opens in select theaters via its distribution pact with indie label A24.

“Equals” tells the story of a future dystopian society where its inhabitants don’t feel any emotions, but it’s meant to double as a parable for ending a long-term relationship, Doremus explained during a question and answer session following its Toronto debut.

A24 is currently fielding the Oscar- hopeful “Room,” starring Brie Larson and scored a critical and commercial hit with the Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy.”

The deal was handled by UTA Independent Film Group.

Indiewire : A24 and DirecTV are partnering to acquire “Equals,” the sci-fi drama directed by Drake Doremus and starring Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult.

“Equals” follows the romance between Stewart and Hoult, two people drawn together in a society without emotions. The film premiered to positive notices at TIFF and the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.

“Equals” is the latest in a string of joint acquisitions by A24 and DirecTV, as they recently picked up the Emma Roberts thriller “February” and Ellen Page’s apocalypse drama “Into the Forest,” both also out of TIFF. The plan for “Equals” is to have DirecTV premiere it first, followed by A24’s rollout in select theaters.

No release date has been set.

Written by Maud