Sony Pictures Classics Takes Whiplash

Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American, Australian, New Zealand and German rights to Damien Chazelle’s feature Whiplash following its debut this week as the opening night film of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Written by Chazelle, Whiplash stars Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) and J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man).

In Whiplash, Andrew Neyman (Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher (Simmons), an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity.

A scene from the original feature script Whiplash was shot as a proof of concept for the feature, and screened at last year’s Sundance under the same title. It was awarded the Short Film Jury Prize for U.S. Fiction.

Whiplash is financed by Bold Films which produced with Blumhouse and Right of Way. It is produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions, Helen Estabrook of Right of Way Films, and Michel Litvak and David Lancaster of Bold Films. The executive producers are Jason Reitman of Right of Way Films, Gary Michael Walters of Bold Films, and Couper Samuelson and Jeanette Brill of Blumhouse Productions.

“I’m so excited to be teaming up with Sony Pictures Classics. Their passion and plan for this film felt like the perfect way to bring it to the world,” says Chazelle, “It’s been an amazing ride so far with an amazing group of producers and I could not be more thrilled.”

Sony Pictures Classics stated, “What a way to begin Sundance! It’s not just a good movie, it’s a full, rich experience, a feast for our eyes, ears, and mind. What remains obvious is this film marks the birth of a major world class filmmaker and features staggering, emotional performances by J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller. We are so excited to be bringing this movie to the moviegoing public.”

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