A24 is in final talks to acquire the North American rights to “Talk to Me” after the feature’s debut at the Sundance Film Festival, Variety has learned. The film fetched a figure in the high seven-figure range, according to sources.
The Australian horror feature enjoyed a buzzy premiere in the festival’s genre-slanted Midnight Selections lineup, drawing strong reviews for its striking performances and gnarly gore. The distributor has set plans to give “Talk to Me” a wide theatrical release over the summer movie season. Bankside Films is negotiating the sale, and the deal has yet to close.
The film, which stars Sophia Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Djanji and Zoe Terakes, follows a group of teenage friends that takes up communion with spirits as a party activity. Mia (Wilde) looks to connect with the supernatural following the death of her mother, but a séance gone wrong carries terrifying consequences for the group.
Directing duo (and twin brothers) Danny and Michael Philippou helmed and wrote the picture. The pair gained prominence among horror aficionados for the violence and giddy comedy of their YouTube channel RackaRacka. Samantha Jennings and Kristina Ceyton produce, while Christopher Seeto serves as co-producer.
The deal comes only hours after A24 emerged as the victor on Oscar nominations morning. The independent studio landed 18 total nods across all categories, marking a record for the banner’s 10-year history as well as the highest total among all studios. A24’s multiverse dramedy “Everything Everywhere All at Once” earned 11 nominations, the highest total for a film this year, while the Brendan Fraser-starring “The Whale” landed four nods. “Aftersun,” “Causeway,” “Close” and “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” also earned nominations from the Academy.