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Sundance: Keira Knightley Period Drama 'Colette' Nabbed by Bleecker Street, 30WEST


Tatiana Siegel

A source pegged the deal at mid-seven figures, and the film will receive a traditional theatrical release this year.”

In the first major deal on the ground in Sundance, Bleecker Street and 30WEST have partnered to acquire U.S. rights to Colette, starring Keira Knightley.

A source pegged the deal at mid-seven figures, and the film will receive a traditional theatrical release later this year.

The historical drama sees Knightley portraying the groundbreaking French novelist who began her career by penning the loosely autobiographical Claudine novels, for which her husband Willy (Dominic West) took credit. She then worked to escape his control and reclaim her literary voice.

Amazon, Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics also were chasing the film, which made its world premiere Saturday night and sparked a competitive bidding situation.

Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice) directed Colette from a script he co-wrote with Richard Glatzer and Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Eleanor Tomlinson and Aiysha Hart round out the cast. The pic debuted in the Premieres section of the Sundance Film Festival.

Colette will mark the first pairing for Bleecker Street and 30WEST, both relative newcomers that have enjoyed success with awards-season vehicles, which the film appears to be. Founded four years ago, Andrew Karpen's Bleecker Street nabbed best actor Oscar nominations for Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo). Likewise, 30WEST, launched just last year by Dan Friedkin and Micah Green, is making a strong showing this year with its film I, Tonya, with stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney landing a Golden Globe nomination and win, respectively (Neon is a partner on that film).

John DeFore's review in The Hollywood Reporter called Colette "an engaging literary coming-of-age story, and one embodied ably by its star."

Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, Michel Litvak and Gary Michael Walters produced the film. CAA and Endeavor Content handled the deal.

Tom Grievson