‘A Real Pain,’ Jesse Eisenberg’s Sundance Dramedy, Sells to Searchlight for $10 Million

Sundance 2024: Eisenberg stars alongside Kieran Culkin as two cousins on a trip to Poland after the death of their grandmother

"A Real Pain"
Kieran Culkin and Jesse Eisenberg appear in A Real Pain by Jesse Eisenberg, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

The first big sale of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival goes to Searchlight Pictures, which is acquiring the global rights to the dramedy “A Real Pain,” directed by Jesse Eisenberg and starring newly minted Emmy winner Kieran Culkin for a reported $10 million.

Eisenberg stars in the film alongside Culkin as David and Benji, a pair of cousins who have trouble getting along — David is a polite and responsible father and husband, while Benji is more free-spirited, but blunt. The two go on a trip to Poland after the death of their grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, tracing the steps of her struggle to survive.

Will Sharpe, Jennifer Grey, Kurt Egyiawan, Liza Sadovy and Daniel Oreskes also star in the film, which was produced by Dave McCary, Ali Herting and Emma Stone for Fruit Tree as well as Jennifer Semler and Ewa Puszczynska. Executive producers are Ryan Heller of Topic Studios, Jennifer Westin, Michael Bloom and Kevin Kelly.

“We are blown away by Jesse’s vision and craft in telling this hilarious and profound film,” said Searchlight presidents Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum. “He tells a deeply personal story and makes it universal. We can’t wait to bring it to audiences around the world.”

“Making ‘A Real Pain’ was a true labor of love, and it has been so thrilling to premiere at Sundance. I couldn’t be more honored to work with Searchlight and to bring this story to a wider audience,” Eisenberg said in a statement.

“We could not be more proud of Jesse and this beautiful film, and are absolutely thrilled to re-team with David, Matthew and our friends at Searchlight on its release,” said Ryan Heller, EVP of film and documentary at Topic Studios.

CAA Media Finance and WME Independent brokered the deal with Searchlight execs Paul Hoffman and Chan Phung. The deal was first reported by Deadline.

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