Sony Pictures Classics Buys ‘Kneecap’ Out of Sundance

The musical biopic parody follows an Irish rap group trying to save their native language

"Kneecap"
"Kneecap" (CREDIT: Sundance)

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired director Rich Peppiatt’s musical biopic parody “Kneecap” out of the Sundance Film Festival, TheWrap has learned.

The film follows “self-proclaimed ‘low-life scum’ Liam Óg and Naoise, along with school teacher JJ, who become a political symbol and the defiant voice of Ireland’s restless youth. As they struggle to make their mark on the world, and family and relationship pressures threaten to pull the plug on their dreams, the trio weave a narrative that transcends music.”

The film stars Naoise Ó Cairealláin, Liam Óg Ó Hannaidh, JJ Ó Dochartaigh, Josie Walker, Fionnuala Flaherty, Jessica Reynolds, Adam Best, with Simone Kirby and Michael Fassbender.

TheWrap’s William Bibbiani gave the movie high praise after its debut at Sundance on Thursday, comparing it to the likes of Jake Kasdan’s “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”

“Funny, violent, sexual, and of the unusual cinematic opinion that illegal drugs are totally awesome, “Kneecap” does for the musical biopic genre what “Trainspotting” did for spotting trains,” Bibbiani wrote.

“’Kneecap’ is an audacious film that completely obliterates the expectations of the musical biopic genre, all while being just as silly and weird as the media that lampoons it. It’s an act of pure delinquency that miraculously also inspires,” he said.

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all rights to the movie in North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East

This marks the first major acquisition to happen during the festival, with questions swirling about how furious bidding will get in the first Sundance post-WGA and SAG/AFTRA strike. “There’s a lot of buyers, especially the ones that don’t have their own production slates, that need projects,” said 2AM founder Christine D’Souza Gelb in TheWrap’s Sundance market preview.

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