Neon Buys Ruben Östlunds Satire Triangle of Sadness Following Cannes Film Festival Debut

Neon has bought Ruben Östlund’s satire “Triangle of Sadness” in one of the biggest deals closed on a Cannes Film Festival official selection title.

30West and WME handled domestic rights to the satirical comedy, which stars Woody Harrelson as a rabid Marxist who is the captain of a cruise for the super rich. According to insiders, the asking price was close to $8 million. Several top-tier buyers, including A24, were circling the movie.

Sweden’s leading contemporary filmmaker and producer, Östlund was last at the festival with “The Square,” which won the Palme d’Or in 2017. This film marks his English-language debut. The Coproduction Office is repping international sales and pre-sold it around the world.

“Triangle of Sadness” earned a rowdy eight-minute standing ovation following a lively screening punctuated by hysterical laugher, which Östlund later described as being like a “football game.”

Variety’s Peter Debruge said there was “meticulous precision to the way (Östlund) constructs, blocks and executes scenes — a kind of agonizing unease, amplified by awkward silences or an unwelcome fly buzzing between characters struggling to communicate.”

Harrelson revealed during Sunday’s presser that he will also star in Östlund’s next project, “The Entertainment System is Down,” another social satire which is in early development.

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Neon brought David Cronenberg’s gruesome body horror film “Crimes of The Future,” starring Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen, as well as Brett Morgen’s experiential, genre-defying “Moonage Daydream,” chronicling the career of David Bowie. The company has also acquired Kore-eda Hirokazu’s “Broker” ahead of the world premiere and Mark Jenkin’s horror film “Enys Men.”

“Triangle of Sadness” was produced by Östlund’s outfit Platform, in co-production with Essential Films, Coproduction Office, Sveriges Television, ZDF/ARTE, ARTE France Cinéma and TRT Sinema, in association with Film i Väst, BBC Films and 30 West. Producers are Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober.

Neon’s Jeff Deutchman negotiated the North America deal with 30West, WME Independent and Imperative Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.

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