Sundance: Ryan Reynolds' 'Buried' sold to Lionsgate

Lionsgate has captured the theatrical rights to Ryan Reynolds coffin movie Buried, which features one of Hollywood’s hottest stars trapped in a box for the duration of the film. The purchase, valued between $3 million and $4 million plus a significant marketing commitment, marks the second deal at the Sundance film festival. The first was Paramount’s purchase of the Davis Guggenheim documentary Waiting for Superman. At the close of the Sundance festival’s first weekend, many films, such as Josh Radnor’s Happythankyoumoreplease and the Ben Affleck-starrer The Company Men, have garnered solid buzz, but there are no deals yet to accompany interest in those movies.

Buried, from Spanish director Rodrigo Cortes centers on Paul Conroy, a U.S. truck driver stationed in Iraq, who wakes up to find himself buried alive inside a coffin. His captors have given him two tools: a lighter and a cell phone, to meet their $5 million ransom demand before he runs out of oxygen. (Check out the trailer to see why this high-concept thriller, which can easily be explained on a one-sheet, sold so quickly.)

Fans were wild about the film after its first screening late Saturday night. So, it seems, were executives. “Buried is one of the tightest, most intense thrillers we’ve ever seen,” says Jason Constantine, Lionsgate’s president of acquisitions. “It’s a powerful reminder that all you really need for an unforgettable movie experience is a great story, inventive filmmaking and brilliant acting.” The studio hasn’t yet settled on a release date.

More from EW at Sundance 2010:
Sundance 2010: Exclusive star portraits from the EW photo studio

Owen Gleiberman’s Sundance 2010 Critic’s Notebook:
The Runaways: Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning rock out
Sundance 2010 documentaries: Casino Jack and the United States of Money; Smash His Camera; Restrepo
The Company Men: A juicy drama of downsized corporate executives
Howl and Nowhere Boy: The fascinating early days of Allen Ginsberg and John Lennon
Sundance 2010: Change you can believe in?

Comments (8 total) Add your comment
  • darclyte

    I feel claustrophobic just THINKING about it, and I’m don’t even have claustrophobia.

  • Rob

    I read somewhere The Company Men was supposed to be a comback movie…I don’t get cause Affleck has been “back” since Gone Baby Gone. Unless this is a Costner comeback. Does anyone know about this? If so can you explain.

    • christine

      affleck directed but didn’t act in gone baby gone, and this movie sets off a string off movies where affleck is the lead (so excited for The Town)… so that’s my guess

  • Patrick

    I heard The Company Men wasn’t that good. No wonder it hasn’t been picked up yet.

  • barock

    Sounds like an episode of Alias I remember

  • w

    Buried isn’t like anything before it. Alias, that CSI epeisode, Kill Bill or Phone Booth. It’s a COMPLETELY different animal and the way it’s shot and the overall tone, direction and spirit of the film is different from anything before it.

  • Alexia

    I saw the Saturday midnight screening. I thought it was creative and interesting, but not as intense as it could have been (also, I thought it dealt with the Iraq war theme in a very facile way). I saw happythankyoumoreplease at last night’s screening and really enjoyed it. It reminded me of Adam from last year’s festival. It was lovely and uplifting without being cutesy or annoying (like little miss sunshine or 500 days of summer, which I detested though I know many people love). I didn’t see company men but heard that it has the bad luck to have too many parallels to Up in the Air (though it was written during the .com bust and wasn’t produced until now).

  • Ismael Murdock

    You have done it again! Amazing read.

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