The big distribution news this year has been what hasn’t sold, or what has struggled. Soderbergh’s Che films and Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, NY have been the big issues (and Che still is) but for a while it looked like Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire might also become a casualty. Once slated to be distributed by Warner Independent, the shuttering of that house nearly left Boyle’s flick homeless.
Fortunately Fox Searchlight and Warner Brothers have stepped in with the save. In a pure 50/50 split, the two companies will usher Slumdog into theaters, hopefully later this year. Telluride and the Toronto Film Fest will get screenings first, and good word out of those obviously won’t hurt.
Slumdog Millionaire is based on Vika Swarup’s novel Q and A and was scripted by Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty). The story follows an Indian boy who wins riches on the Hindi version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, which is evidently fraught with a great deal more difficulty than the American version. Quelle surprise.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey