According to The Wrap, Fox Searchlight has made a record-breaking $16 million offer for worldwide rights to Nate Parker’s “Birth of a Nation.” The deal by Fox Searchlight was finalized for a whopping $17.5 million. Fox Searchlight has proven it can handle racially-charged dramas, having released Best Picture winner “12 Years a Slave.” Multiple buyers are into “Birth of a Nation,” which received multiple standing ovations during its debut at the Eccles during the Sundance Film Festival on Monday. Fox Searchlight is said to be the frontrunner, given its consistent ability to launch awards campaigns for challenging indie films.
Parker and his team are seeking a wide release commitment and a worldwide MG of $15 million to $20 million. The action will likely go late into the night, so stay tuned. WME Global is handling the bidding war. “Birth of a Nation” arrives at a time when Hollywood is eager to embrace an empowering story from a promising director of color, coming on the heels of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that ignited due to a lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominees. “Birth of a Nation” stars Parker as Nat Turner, who led a 48-hour slave rebellion against his white masters. Armie Hammer and Aja Naomi King co-star alongsideJackie Earle Haley and Jayson Warner Smith.