Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Directorial Debut Sells To Relativity

The Sundance Film Festival has started to heat up as sales have started to close on the bigger buzz movies of the weekend. One of the biggest deals so far is Relativity Media picking up the rights to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction for a reported $4 million with plans to give the movie a wide release and a marketing commitment of $25 million.

Written by Gordon-Levitt and co-starring Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Rob Brown, Tony Danza and Glenne Headly, the film follows a ladies’ man with an addiction to porn (also played by Gordon-Levitt) who tries to find love and a more satisfying sex life.

The film has gotten a lot of attention this past weekend for the amount of graphic nudity and sex, which could push its R-rating but Relativity Media seems undaunted by the prospects of going up against the MPAA to avoid an NC-17 rating.

Here’s the official press release on the deal:

Relativity Media announced today the acquisition of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s daring, hotly pursued directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Relativity has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film written, directed and starring Gordon-Levitt alongside Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore. The studio plans a wide-release and further distribution details including a release date will be announced at a later time. Don Jon’s Addiction is a Voltage Pictures presentation of a HitRecord Films, Ram Bergman production. It was produced by Ram Bergman with Nicolas Chartier serving as Executive Producer. This marks the third collaboration between producer Ram Bergman (BRICK, LOOPER) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt said, “I always intended this to be a movie for a mass popular audience. Everyone told me it was a long shot. Now Relativity is making it happen. Tucker and Robbie told me they believe that, more than anything, audiences want something unique. I couldn’t agree with them more. I admire them for putting their money where their mouth is. And I couldn’t possibly be more grateful.”

Tucker Tooley, President, Relativity added, “Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an incredibly talented filmmaker and he has created a bold, funny and moving story and we are proud to work with him, Ram Bergman and the rest of their team on bringing his vision to audiences across the country.”

Jon Martello objectifies everything in his life: his apartment, his car, his family, his church, and, of course, women. His buddies even call him Don Jon because of his ability to pull “10s” every weekend without fail. Yet even the finest flings don’t compare to the transcendent bliss he achieves alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Dissatisfied, he embarks on a journey to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love through relationships with two very different women.

CAA and WME negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. International sales are being handled by Voltage Pictures.

Relativity previously acquired the documentary film Catfish at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival which not only spawned a successful theatrical release, but a hit MTV show which debuted No. 1 in its timeslot and was picked up for a second season.

Up next, Relativity will release the outrageous Movie 43 (in theatres January 25, 2013), the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling Safe Haven (in theatres February 14, 2013), the comedy 21 and Over (in theatres March 1, 2013) and the corporate espionage thriller Paranoia (in theatres October 4, 2013). Relativity is currently in post-production on Scott Cooper’s gritty dramatic thriller currently-titled Out of the Furnace and Luc Besson’s comedic action film Malavita (October 18, 2013) with EuropaCorp. Relativity recently announced Jimmy Hayward’s upcoming animated, hilarious buddy comedy Turkeys (November 14, 2014).

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