Hot off its well-received debut as the opening night film at Sundance, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired rights in several international territories to writer-director Damien Chazelle’s drama “Whiplash,” which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons.
Territories acquired include the U.K., Scandinavia, Benelux, Eastern Europe (ex CIS), Greece, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Latin America.
The deal was made by SPWA’s Michael Helfand, Jon Freedberg and Chan Phung, and international sales agency Sierra/Affinity on behalf of Bold Films, which financed the movie.
“Whiplash” is adapted from Chazelle’s short film that won Sundance’s jury award for fiction in 2013. The feature was produced by Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, Michel Litvak and David Lancaster, while Jason Reitman, Gary Michael Walters and Couper Samuelson executive produced.
Teller stars as Andrew, a first-year college student as he begins his quest to become the core drummer of the top jazz orchestra in the country. Under the direction of a prestigious but borderline abusive instructor (Simmons), Andrew would do anything to become a famous musician. His commitment is put to the ultimate test when the unrelenting and eccentric band professor all but drives him to madness. The teacher’s extreme methods rattle Andrew’s faith in drumming…and in himself. In the end, the struggle is only worthwhile if Andrew is really the one-in-a-million talent that his teacher believes him to be.
WME is handling all domestic rights.