Cannes: Lionsgate Picks up Sea of Trees & Genius


Matthew McConaughey

Even before the Cannes Film Festival has begun, word is coming from the France-based festival that Lionsgate has nabbed two hot films, one before its premiere and one before it’s even completed..

First, Deadline reports that Lionsgate is teaming up with long-time partners Roadside Attractions for the domestic distribution of Sea of Trees, starring Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe. The film is about Arthur Brennan’s journey to Aokigahara, a dense forest at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji, to commit suicide. Directed by Gus Van Sant and co-starring Naomi Watts, it’s expected to be one of the hot premieres at Cannes and a possible awards contender.

They’ve also picked up the U.S. rights to Michael Grandage’s Genius, starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Guy Pearce, based on A. Scott Berg’s biography of editor Max Perkins, which is currently in post-production. John Logan adapted the film, which is also thought to be something that will be looking for awards once released. It’s the third recent film that Firth and Kidman starred in together after The Railway Man and Before I Go To Sleep.

(Photo Credit: Mario Mitsis/