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Elisabeth Moss Thriller ‘Shirley’ Nabbed by Neon After Best Picture Win

Sundance 2020: Josephine Decker’s biographical film premiered in competition at the festival

Fresh off the company’s Oscar win for Best Picture with “Parasite,” Neon has acquired the North American rights to “Shirley,” the biographical film and thriller starring Elisabeth Moss that premiered at Sundance, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

Moss stars in the film from director Josephine Decker (“Madeline’s Madeline”) as famed horror author Shirley Jackson. Michael Stuhlbarg, Logan Lerman and Odessa Young also star in the film about how Jackson finds inspiration for her next novel after she and her husband take a young couple into their home and form a deep connection with them that tests the bonds of the couple’s young love.

“Shirley” won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Auteur Filmmaking at Sundance, and Neon acquired the film in a deal in the low seven-figures range.

Sarah Gubbins wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Susan Scarf Merrell. Gubbins also produced with Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Sue Naegle, and Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman of the Los Angeles Media Fund, which financed the drama. Martin Scorsese is listed as an executive producer alongside Allison Rose Carter, Alisa Tager and Cher Hawrysh.

“I am thrilled to be collaborating with the fearless team at Neon,” director Decker said in a statement. “They take risks and know how to connect with audiences who want a vibrant cinematic ride.  I congratulate them on Parasite’s huge Oscar wins this weekend!  So happy to be teammates!”

Last month, Neon partnered with Hulu to acquire the comedy “Palm Springs” out of Sundance for a record-setting deal of $17.5 million, and the company also acquired “Ammonite,” which did not play at the festival — and is not yet completed — but stars Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet.

Paradigm and UTA Independent brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers, and Cornerstone is handling international sales.

Deadline first reported the news of the deal.

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