In a $25 million+ global rights deal, Searchlight Pictures has acquired the darkly comedic horror film Annapurna Night slutwith six-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams (Arrival), acquired during a competitive sale. Marielle Heller (Can you ever forgive me?) came on board to direct the film, based on Rachel Yoder’s acclaimed debut novel, from her own screenplay.
Night slut tells the story of a woman thrown into the stay-at-home routine of raising a toddler in the suburbs, who slowly embraces the wild power deeply rooted in motherhood, as she becomes increasingly aware of the bizarre signs and undeniable that she can transform into a canine. Bond Group and Annapurna acquired the film rights to Yoder’s book in 2020 and developed the screenplay alongside Heller. It marks a re-emergence of Megan Ellison’s reconfigured Annapurna on the market. The original plan was to launch sales in Cannes, but Searchlight is everywhere from Berlin. There were five bids but Searchlight won the day.
Adams and Stacy O’Neil (Dead ringtones) will produce through their Bond Group banner, alongside Heller for Defiant By Nature, Archer Gray’s Anne Carey (20th century women), Megan Ellison of Annapurna (Library), Christina Oh (minari) and Adam Paulsen (Pork), and Sue Naegle (Shirley), with Annapurna’s Sammy Scher and Defiant By Nature’s Havilah Brewster serving as executive producers. Searchlight’s production heads, DanTram Nguyen and Katie Goodson-Thomas, will oversee the film along with SVP, Production Taylor Friedman and Manager, Creative Affairs Cameron Chidsey.
Night slut reunites Carey and Heller on the heels of their work together on the acclaimed feature films Can you ever forgive me? and The diary of a teenager for Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics, respectively. The film will stream on Disney’s DTC platforms as a Hulu Original in the United States, with additional release plans to be announced at a later date. Production begins in Los Angeles in September.
“We are longtime fans of Amy Adams, and we are thrilled to join Annapurna and this incredibly creative team of filmmakers in bringing this unique story to the screen,” said Searchlight Presidents David Greenbaum. and Matthew Greenfield. “We are also delighted to reunite with Mari Heller and Anne Carey following the collaboration on Can you ever forgive me? Mari brilliantly adapted Rachel Yoder’s superb debut film for what promises to be a provocative flick.
“Rachel Yoder’s book took my breath away. I didn’t feel that about [a] book since I read The diary of a teenager many years ago,” Heller added. “Rachel’s dark and hilarious story of motherhood and rage made me feel seen. And adapting it with Amy Adams in mind was what got me through the pandemic. I’m thrilled to donate life in this film with wonderful partners like Anne Carey, Annapurna Pictures and Searchlight. It’s a dream come true.”
Heller recently directed the critically acclaimed Oscar-nominated drama Mr. Rogers. A beautiful day in the neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, who earned an Oscar nomination for his performance. She previously worked with Searchlight Pictures as director of the comedy-drama about letter forgery Can you ever forgive me?, featuring Oscar-nominated actors Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant. His directing credits also include SPC’s The diary of a teenagerwhich earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature as well as a DGA Nomination for First Feature.
Adams landed his Oscar nominations for his turns in movies Vice, american hustle, The master, The fighter, Doubt and Junebug. She will then be seen in DisillusionedDisney’s sequel to its hit musical, Nice to meet you.
Searchlight Pictures is a Disney-owned global specialty film company that has recently released titles including Oscar-nominated Guillermo del Toro alley of nightmares, which earned Searchlight the 20th Best Picture Oscar nomination; Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Oscar-winning feature documentary Summer Of Soul (…or, When The Revolution Couldn’t Be Televised) with Hulu and in partnership with Disney’s Onyx Collective; the Hulu Original limited series The stall by Michael Showalter; and the cannibalistic photo of Mimi Cave, Costs. Upcoming releases include Andrew Ahn Fire Island; by Sophie Hyde Good luck to you, Leo Grande; by Quinn Shephard Not good; by Martin McDonagh The Banshees of Inisherin; by Mark Mylod The menu; at Tom Georges See how they work; and Sam Mendes Empire of Light.
Searchlight’s Head of Commercial Affairs, Paul Hoffman, brokered the deal forNight slut with Annapurna Pictures and FilmNation Entertainment. Heller is represented by UTA and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole; Adams by WME, Linden Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.