Do moviegoers want to see Will Ferrell in a rare serious role? Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions think so, picking up the rights to “Everything Must Go” on Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film, directed by Dan Rush and based on a short story by Raymond Carver, stars Ferrell as a salesman who loses his job, his wife and his house in a single day, and decides to sell off all his possessions in a mammoth yard sale. Rebecca Hall, Stephen Root and Laura Dern also appear.
Deadline reported that Lionsgate and Roadside made a guarantee of more than $3 million for the film, which has drawn mixed reviews from its TIFF screenings. In the Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt called Ferrell’s performance “too one-note,” and said the film “just doesn’t mine enough humor or drama from this situation.”
In Salon, though, Andrew O’Hehir was considerably more positive, calling the film “quiet, acutely observed, based in everybody events and ordinary moments rather than big, Hollywood-style ‘reveals.’”
Roadside Attractions confirmed the acquisition via Twitter, and TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey tweeted, “Apparently, EVERYTHING MUST GO just did.”
Earlier in the festival, Lionsgate and Roadside teamed up to acquire Robert Redford’s Lincoln assassination drama “The Conspirator,” which will be released next spring.