Apparently Sundance isn’t the only place where deals are being made this weekend as the news recently broke that 20th Century Fox has won the battle for distribution of Robert Rodriguez’s Machete, not a huge surprise since the studio is also behind his production of Predators.
Deadline Hollywood got the scoop that six studios [were] all very interested in domestic distribution rights to Rodriguez’s latest — Sony, Lionsgate, Warner Bros, Fox, Paramount, and The Weinstein Co.
Rodriguez had made the fake trailer into a real movie outside the studio system. With help from Rick Schwartz’s Overnight Productions, Rodriquez indie financed Machete with $20 million from selling international rights to Sony and making some other global sales and another $5 million he borrowed. Rodriguez not only wrote and produced the pic, but he also co-directed it with Ethan Maniquis. It stars an eclectic cast (to put it mildly) of Robert De Niro, Lost’s Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, and Danny Trejo. With the picture now in the editing room, Rodriguez and his longtime agent WME’s Robert Newman (who’s been there from the start of the writer-director’s career) decided to look for domestic
All six interested studios screened about 15 to 30 minutes of footage. Newman’s proposal was for $9 million upfront, no P&A commitment but the guarantee of a wide release, and a big backend gross participation for Rodriguez. Both Fox and Paramount said yes, and then, in an unusual move, Newman went back to the two studios and asked for more gross percentage and an overall production deal for Rodriguez.
Paramount balked, so did Fox. But Fox reminded everyone that it was already very much in the Robert Rodriguez business making Predators, and Tom Rothman really wanted him to have a home there, and Rodriguez and Rothman get along well, so a deal was clinched.
As always when the Weinsteins are involved, there’s even more to the story, so be sure to hit up the above link for the full rundown. In the meantime, we’re just going to keep watching the badass Machete trailer and hope for the best.
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