Toronto Film Festival 2017 Hot Acquisition Titles: Will Buyers Bite?

It is movie deal time the Toronto Film Festival 2017 with several interesting films trying to clinch the best of the deals. But, the initial buzz is that the buyer’s market is watching very closely. They look extra cautious this year and may go in for just handful of titles.Primarily, this festival offers an inventory to a sea of scripts and promotional reels which lead to the next years Oscars. Toronto film market has emerged as a strong market for that.

Sony Pictures Classics bought the Paul McGuigan-directed  Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool .  I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie playing the disgraced Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, with CBS Films alleged to have put a  bid price of $7 million, with a solid P&A spend. The film is controlled by Miramax’s Bill Block, with CAA and UTA co-repping domestic.The bidding battle that could see the film sailing into awards season.

There was pre-buzz on Chappaquiddick, the John Curran-directed drama as well.  It is about Senator Ted Kennedy’s presidential aspirations. Kennedy is played by Jason Clarke and Kate Mara plays Kopechne.

The reputed distributors are using Toronto to launch their Oscar horses with great fanfare. Here are few of them:


I, TONYA– Director: Craig Gillespie. Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney. Robbie plays Tonya Harding, who rose from dirt poor origins to become an Olympic figure skater and was disgraced when her husband tried to break the leg of her main rival in the 1994 Olympics. September 8, 9.30 PM – Princess of Wales

CHAPPAQUIDDICK– Director: John Curran. Cast: Jason Clarke, Kate Mara, Ed Helms. Ted Kennedy’s presidential aspirations are upended in the aftermath of a fatal car accident in 1969 that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne. September 10, 3 PM – Roy Thomson Hall

DISOBEDIENCE– Director: Sebastian Lelio. Cast: Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Alessandro Nivola. Returning to her Orthodox Jewish home after the death of her rabbi father, a woman stirs up controversy when she shows an interest in an old childhood friend. September 10, 6 PM – Princess of Wales

EUPHORIA– Director: Lisa Langseth. Cast: Alicia Vikander, Eva Green, Charlotte Rampling. Estranged sisters travel across Europe together heading toward a mysterious destination. September 8, 5 PM

HOSTILES– Director: Scott Cooper. Cast: Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Adam Beach. Legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory in 1882. September 11, 9.30 PM – Princess of Wales

“I Love You, Daddy”

I LOVE YOU, DADDY– Director: Louis C.K.: Cast: Louis C.K., Chloe Grace Moretz, John Malkovich, Rose Byrne, Charlie Day, Helen Hunt, Edie Falco. A TV producer and his daughter travel to China. September 9, 5.30 PM – Ryerson Theatre

BREATH– Director: Simon Baker. Cast: Elizabeth Debicki, Richard Roxburgh. 13-year-old thrill-seeker in a coastal Australian town finds both exhilaration and danger,under the wing of a pro surfer. September 10, 4.30 PM – Scotiabank

KODACHROME– Director: Mark Raso. Cast: Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen. Father and son travel to the last Kansas photo lab to get their film rolls developed before Kodak Kodachrome film goes the way of the dinosaur. September 8, 2.30 PM – Princess of Wales

LOVING PABLO– Director: Fernando León de Aranoa. Cast: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz. A journalist strikes up a romantic relationship with notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar. September 11, 9 AM – Scotiabank 4

MARY SHELLEY– Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour. Cast: Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, Joanne Froggatt, Tom Sturridge, Maisie Williams. How a love affair between poet Percy Shelley and 18-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin led to Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein. September 9, 6.30 PM – Roy Thomson Hall

THE RITUAL– Director: David Bruckner. Cast: Rafe Spall, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton, Arsher Ali. College friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them. September 8, 11.59 PM – Ryerson Theatre (Public 1)

ON CHESIL BEACH– Director: Dominic Cooke. Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Emily Watson. A young couple takes a honeymoon in the ’60s-set drama. September 7, 5 PM – Winter Garden Theatre


PAPILLON– Director: Michael Noer. Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Rami Malek. Remake of 1973 film in which a prisoner detained on a remote island plots his escape. September 7, 9.30 PM – Princess of Wales

UNICORN STORE– Director: Brie Larson. Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford, Mamoudou Athie. Moving back home after college, an imaginative girl tries to live in the real world as a mysterious salesman promises her a unicorn. September 11, 3 PM – Ryerson Theatre

WOMAN WALKS AHEAD– Director: Susanna White. Cast: Jessica Chastain, Michael Greyeyes, Ciaran Hinds, Sam Rockwell. Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter from 1890s Brooklyn, travels to Dakota to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull and becomes embroiled in the Lakota peoples’ struggle over the rights to their land. September 10, 9:30 PM – Roy Thomson Hall

BODIED– Director: Joseph Kahn. Cast: Calum Worthy, Jackie Long, Charlamagne Tha God, Anthony Michael Hall. Eminem-produced drama centers on a progressive graduate student who finds success and sparks outrage when his interest in battle rap as a thesis subject becomes a competitive obsession. September 7, 11.59 PM – Ryerson Theatre

DARK RIVER– Director: Clio Barnard. Cast: Ruth Wilson, Sean Bean, Mark Stanley. Following the death of her father, Alice returns to her hometown for the first time in 15 years, to claim the family farm she believes is rightfully hers. She meets an antagonistic brother she barely recognizes, who is worn down from keeping the farm going. September 10, 9 PM – Winter Garden Theatre

I KILL GIANTS– Director: Anders Walter. Cast: Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots, Madison Wolfe. Barbara Thorson struggles through life by escaping into a fantasy life of magic and monsters. September 8, 9.15 AM – Scotiabank 9

MOM AND DAD– Director: Brian Taylor. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters, Zackary Arthur. Midnight Madness title puts a teenage girl and her little brother in survival mode during 24 hours of mass hysteria causing parents to turn violently on their own kids. September 9, 11.59 PM – Ryerson Theatre

REPLICAS– Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff. Cast: Alice Eve, Thomas Middeditch, John Ortiz. Neuroscientist William Foster, working on re-creating the human brain for what he thinks is Alzheimer’s research, uses his work to replicate his family after they’re killed in a car accident. September 7, 11 AM – Cineplex Varsity, Auditorium #5

SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY CHICKEN!– Director: Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock reignites his battle with the food industry — this time from behind the register — as he opens his own fast food restaurant. September 8, 2.30 PM – Ryerson Theatre

THREE CHRISTS– Director:Jon Avnet. Cast: Richard Gere, Walton Goggins, Peter Dinklage, Bradley Whitford, Julianna Margulies. True story of three men in a mental asylum who each believe that they are Jesus Christ, and the doctor who tries to convince them there can be only one. September 12, 11.15 AM – Scotiabank 4

THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE– Director: Fabien Constant. Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Taylor Kinney, Simon Baker, Common, Renee Zellweger, Phillipa Soo. A New York-based singer gets a grim diagnosis that puts her life and dreams into perspective.

SIGNAL HILL — Anthony Mackie plays young attorney Johnnie Cochrane who uncovers the truth in a police brutality case involving a young black man who dies in police custody. Taylor Hackford just committed to direct this.

THE PRIVATE LIFE OF A MODERN WOMAN– Director: James Toback. Cast: Sienna Miller, Alec Baldwin, Charles Grodin. Drama focuses on a woman who’s considered the world’s best actress, as she struggles to keep up appearances and responsibilities both professional and private. Expected to screen privately.

COLETTE– Director: Wash Westmoreland. Cast: Keira Knightley, Dominic West. French novelist Colette overcomes an abusive marriage to emerge as a leading writer in her country and a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY– Director: Mike Newell. Cast: Lily James, Michiel Huisman. Writer bonds with the residents of Guernsey Island in the aftermath of World War II when she writes their WWII story.

HARD POWDER– Director: Hans Petter Moland. Cast: Liam Neeson, Emmy Rossum, Laura Dern. Remake of Norwegian film In Order Of Disappearance, in which a snowplow driver seeks revenge against the drug dealers he thinks killed his son.

HOTEL ARTEMIS– Director: Drew Pearce. Cast: Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella, Jenny Slate. A nurse runs an underground hospital in Los Angeles where criminals go but things get hairy when a patient checks in with designs to kill another.

MANHUNT– Director: John Woo. Cast: Hanyu Zhang, Masaharu Fukuyama. Prosecutor who’s accused of heinous crimes he didn’t commit sets out to clear his name.

OPHELIA– Director: Claire McCarthy. Cast: Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen. Secret love between Ophelia and Prince Hamlet blossoms as war brews and betrayal tears apart Elsinore Castle.

AT ETERNITY’S GATE– Director: Julian Schnabel. Cast: Willem Dafoe, Oscar Isaac. The struggles of painter Vincent van Gogh as he paints masterpieces.

BOOK CLUB– Director: Bill Holderman. Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen. The lives of four sixtysomething women are shaken up after their book club assigns the saucy 50 Shades Of Grey.

THE BURNING WOMAN– Director: Jake Scott. Cast: Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul, Christina Hendricks. Woman raises her young grandson after her daughter goes missing.

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN– Director: Xavier Dolan. Cast: Jessica Chastain, Kit Harington, Jacob Tremblay, Kathy Bates, Susan Sarandon, Michael Gambon. American movie star has a secret correspondence with an 11-year-old Londoner.

DEATH IN EDEN– Matthew Orton. What really happened after the Mutiny on the Bounty, when Fletcher Christian led attempt to create paradise on Pitcairn Island. All but one sailor was murdered within four years.

THE DEVIL’S BRIGADE– Phillip Noyce directing Jonas McCord script on true WWII story of how a Jewish associate of Lucky Luciano’s crew is conscripted by the U.S. Army to help fight the Germans in Italy.

DUMPLIN– Director: Anne Fletcher. Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Danielle MaDonald. A girl with the nickname “Dumplin’” enters a beauty pageant in order to win over the boy she likes and stick it to the other girls at school.

EVERYBODY KNOWS– Director: Asghar Farhadi. Cast: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz. Family drama that is just getting underway in production.

FREAK SHIFT – Director: Ben Wheatley. Cast: Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer, Sasha Lane. Action thriller in which band of misfits hunt and kill nocturnal underground monsters.

GEORGETOWN– Director: Christoph Waltz. Cast: Waltz, Corey Hawkins, Vanessa Redgrave. German-born Georgetown socialite Else Breht is found dead and her husband is prime suspect.

A KID LIKE JAKE– Director: Silas Howard. Cast: Claire Danes, Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra. A couple raising a 4-year old son who prefers to dress up as princess.

LANDSLIDE– Director: Brian Kirk. Cast: Will Smith. Air Force reservist and interrogator Tony Camerino arrives in Iraq in 2016 during the heated hunt for ISIS founder Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

LORO aka THEM– Director: Paolo Sorrentino. Cast: Toni Servillo. Italian media tycoon-turned-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his inner circle create the drama.

NIGHT IN HATTON GARDEN– Director: James Marsh. Cast: Michael Caine, James Broadbent, Michael Sheen, Michael Gambon, Ray Winstone. The true tale of an over-the-hill gang that perpetrates the biggest jewel heist in British history. Pic is likely Sundance-bound.

PARTY OF THE CENTURY– Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini. Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Chloe Grace Moretz, Josh Gad. Party of the Century thrown by Truman Capote in 60s New York, seen through eyes of a doorman who attends and falls for a young starlet.

A PRIVATE WAR– Director: Matthew Heineman. Cast: Rosamund Pike, Nicholas Hoult. Story of fearless American war correspondent.

RED SEA DIVING RESORT– Director: Gideon Raff. Cast: Chris Evans, Haley Bennett, Greg Kinnear, Michael K. Williams. The daring rescue and transport of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1981.

RICHARD SAYS GOODBYE– Director: Wayne Roberts. Cast: Johnny Depp, Zoey Deutch, Danny Huston, Rosemarie DeWitt, Odessa Young. A world-weary college professor given a life-changing diagnosis decides to live life boldly.

RIO– D: Luca Guadagnino. Steven Knight script about a billionaire who taps a financially unstable old friend to help fake his death.