A24 has picked up the worldwide rights excluding China to “The Farewell” in a deal somewhere between $6 million and $7 million.
The film directed by Lulu Wang and starring Awkwafina tells the story of a Chinese family that opts not to tell their beloved matriarch about her lung cancer diagnosis, instead scheduling an impromptu wedding-reunion to give everyone the chance to say their goodbyes.
The film is based on Wang’s real life and evolved from a story she told on NPR’s popular podcast, “This American Life.”
“The Farewell” is told mostly in Mandarin, which Wang said was important to her. The film gives actress and rapper Awkwafina a chance to show off a more dramatic performance. The “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Oceans 8” star plays the part of Billi, a melancholic Chinese-born writer who moved to America when she was 6 years old. In the film, she serves as an avatar for Wang.
Billi struggles with the family’s decision not to tell her grandmother about the diagnosis.
A24 is eyeing a summer theatrical release.
“The Farewell” producers include Anita Gou, Daniele Melia, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng and Wang. Eddie Ruben served as executive producer.
UTA and Endeavor Content co-brokered the deal. UTA reps both Lulu and Awkwafina.