Amazon Nabs Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson Comedy ‘Late Night’ for $13 Million

Sundance 2019: The film had its world premiere Friday at the Sundance Film Festival

Late Night Emma Thompson Mindy Kaling Cruela
Sundance Institute

Amazon acquired the U.S. rights to the Mindy Kaling-written comedy “Late Night” for $13 million following the film’s premiere on Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film, which is likely to be a commercial hit, premiered to a crowded Eccles Theatre in Park City. “Late Night” stars Emma Thompson as a legendary late-night TV host who is accused of being a “woman who hates women,” so she puts affirmative action on the to-do list, and — presto! — Molly (Mindy Kaling) is hired as the one woman in Katherine’s all-male writers’ room.

One of the big questions headed into Sundance was what role streaming platforms were going to have in the indie sales market. With the acquisition of “Late Night,” Amazon makes a big statement, announcing a major deal for U.S. rights to film out of the festival.

The studio’s deal for “Late Night” surpasses its last big North American rights for a film, which was $12.5 million for “The Big Sick” back in 2017.

“Late Night” is directed by Nisha Ganatra, based on Kaling’s screenplay and co-stars John Lithgow, Amy Ryan, Paul Walter Hauser, Reid Scott and Ike Barinholtz.

Kaling also produced with Howard Klein, Ben Browning and Jillian Apfelbaum. Alison Cohen, Milan Popelka, Micah Green and Daniel Steinman are the executive producers. 30WEST financed the film with FilmNation. FilmNation produced with Imperative Entertainment.

30WEST and CAA negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.