It was always obvious someone was going to pick up The Canyons, and even amidst the snark I called it “inevitable” when IFC finally nabbed the Lindsay Lohan sex noir. However, who knew that the film would actually inspire a mini-bidding war! Kinda.
A new story on THR describes the behind-the-scenes dealings between The Canyons backers and the distributors that courted them, which all ended with a $1m deal for the $250k micro-budget noir from Paul Schrader. Apparently IFC had to beat out offers from Magnolia, The Weinstein’s Radius shingle, and a few independent investors that were interesting in framing distribution experiments around the film.
It’s mentioned that Magnolia signing off on the similarly sex-focused Nymphomaniac pretty much knocked them off the list regardless, and that Schrader wasn’t willing to give up final cut to Harvey, knocking Radius off as well. So, ultimately, it seems there were a lot of lowballs and highly conditional offers that sent The Canyons into the arms of IFC and their modst theatrical and VOD commitment.
One sure victory for the film film? IFC has a set a world premiere of the film at the Film Society Of Lincoln Center in New York. That’s not a shabby joint- filmmakers like Goddard and Scorsese have had work introduced there. Congrats to Schrader and company, and hopefully IFC gets someone competent in there to make this look like a real movie soon.