It doesn’t take a genius to read the response to The Wrestler — Oscar buzz for Mickey Rourke, glowing reviews and the Golden Lion at Venice — and guess that a quick sale at the Toronto International Film Festival was in the offing, so I’m not going to take any credit for assuming (on Friday) that the picture would find a distributor during the weekend.
But I’m very happy to see that Darren Aronofsky’s film will be in good company with Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire on Fox Searchlight’s upcoming slate. (What a wonderful world, where these two are the toasts of fall festivals!) Variety reports that Lionsgate, Overture, Sony and the Weinsteins were also in contention, and that rolling out a real Oscar campaign was a requirement for the sale. Fox paid about $4m for the picture; expect to see it late this year if you’re in one of the top few major markets, and in January if (like me) you’re flyover material. Expect to see posters and a trailer soon, though, so that Fox can capitalize on the good festival buzz.