Laura Dern’s ‘The Tale’ Sells to HBO Films

Sundance 2018: Drama based on a true story also stars Jason Ritter and Common

Buzzy Sundance drama “The Tale” has sold to HBO Films for a deal in the high seven figures.

Laura Dern, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki and Common star in the true story drama about a woman who has to confront her past when she realizes her relationship with a 40 year old man when she was just 13 was anything but a consensual romance.

Jennifer Fox wrote and directed the shocking tale, based on her own experiences. The film premiered against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement. In an interview with TheWrap, Fox said, “Now with the #MeToo movement, we are so blessed to be coming out at a moment when people can actually take this story and begin to grapple with the truth about child sexual abuse.”

In a Friday statement, Fox said, “It has always been my intent to find an engaged distribution partner who deeply understands the wide reach of the project, not just as a film, but also for the impact it can have on a larger global conversation. In a world in which stories like mine have often been pushed into the darkness, no one has been better at shining a light on storytelling and important social issues than HBO. I am overjoyed to be able to take ‘The Tale’ out into the world with such a vibrant and engaged team.”

“I can’t imagine a more timely and relevant film for HBO to have bought at Sundance,” added Len Amato, president of HBO Films.  “‘The Tale,’ a courageous and deeply effective memoir from acclaimed filmmaker Jennifer Fox – and starring Laura Dern in a career-defining role – is a personal journey that embraces the truth of one survivor’s experience and the power of memory.  We’re honored to bring this groundbreaking and revelatory film to the HBO audience”.

“The Tale” was produced by Oren Moverman, Laura Rister, Lawrence Inglee, Mynette Louie, Sol Bondy, Simone Pero, Reka Posta, Regina K. Scully and Lynda Weinman. It’s been a while since HBO Films has acquired anything out of Sundance, and it will be interesting to see what kind of awards campaign HBO will ramp up for the film.

The deal was negotiated by ICM Partners and Laura Rister on behalf of the filmmakers.