Sundance: A24, DirecTV Buy Robert Eggers’ ‘The Witch’ (Updated)

With no stars, the slow-burn period horror movie will represent a significant marketing challenge

Last Updated: January 27, 2015 @ 9:27 PM

A24 and DirecTV have closed a deal for U.S. rights to Robert Eggers’ ‘The Witch” which sources peg in the low-seven-figures range, TheWrap has learned.

With no stars, the slow-burn period horror movie will represent a significant marketing challenge, though it will emerge from Sundance with strong buzz, including rave reviews from The Playlist, Hitfix and Badass Digest.

Set in a quaint New England town in the 1630’s, “The Witch” follows a family who begin to suspect the oldest daughter of being a witch following the disappearance of their infant son. Anya Taylor-Joy stars in the film alongside Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson. Writer/director Robert Eggers painstakingly designs an authentic re-creation of New England — generations before the 1692 trials in Salem — evoking the alluring and terrifying power of the timeless witch myth.

A24 and DirecTV have formed a partnership to release films exclusively on DirecTV during a 30-day window prior to their theatrical debut. The partnership provides national exposure for the filmmakers while providing access in relatively short order to DirecTV’s 20 million customers.

“’The Witch’ is one of the most fascinating and accomplished debut features we have ever seen.  We are honored that we get to say we released the very first Robert Eggers film, knowing this is the beginning of many great things he has in store for all of us,” the distributors said in a joint statement.

Said producer Van Hoy: “In every way, the dynamic duo of A24 and DirecTV is a perfect fit for ‘The Witch.’ A24’s vision, ambition, and out-of-the box thinking made them the clear choice as a theatrical partner on this film. We have been a fan of the work they do, and the films they release, and of their inspired devotion to filmmakers.  We are equally excited about their partnership with DirecTV.”

Two distributors known for picking up genre films, IFC and Magnolia, had also been in pursuit along with Radius-TWC.

WME Global is negotiating the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.