One of the most talked about films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is Robert Eggers’ creepy period drama, The Witch so the fact the U.S. rights have been snapped up so swiftly comes as no shocker. Going head-to-head in a bidding battle with IFC and Magnolia, it was A24 and DirecTV who came out victorious. The film’s foreign rights are still up for grabs, although this situation is likely to change lickety-split.
Recreating New England in the 1630s, The Witch relates the tale of a devout Christian family whose newborn son suddenly vanishes and their crops begin to fail. The film is described as a “chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.”
A24 and DirecTV reported that The Witch is “one of the most fascinating and accomplished debut features we have ever seen. We are honored that we get to say we released the very first Robert Eggers film, knowing this is the beginning of many great things he has in store for all of us.”
Whilst the film officially premieres at the festival tomorrow, Tuesday January 27, preview screenings have already left critics spellbound. Reacting to the news, Eggers commented, “I am honored to be a first-time filmmaker at the Sundance Film Festival, and humbled to know that this labor of love will now have the opportunity to reach a wide audience.”
Eggers has previously staged many a theatrical classic ranging from Hamlet, Othello, Faust to Nosferatu so we can expect nothing short of a veracious depiction of the presage to the Salem witch trials. With three short films under his hat (Hansel and Gretel, The Tell-Tale Heart and Brothers), The Witch marks Brooklyn-based Robert Egger’s feature directorial debut and stars Ralph Ineson (Harry Potter, Guardians of the Galaxy), Anya Taylor Joy, Kate Dickie (Game of Thrones), Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson.
It surely won’t be long before the UK rights are snapped up so we’ll keep you informed of further updates.
Words: Howard Gorman