In what is by far the biggest deal to emerge from the Cannes Film Festival this year, Focus Features has acquired director Tom Ford's adaptation Nocturnal Animals for a whopping $20 million. The deal includes an 8-figure commitment for publicity and advertising. While production has not yet started on the adaptation of Austin Wright's book Tony and Susan, Tom Ford delivered a presentation at the Carlton Hotel during the Cannes Film Festival, when offers started to pour in. Here's what Focus Features' Peter Schlessel had to say about the deal in a statement.
"Tom's vision for his film is unique and inspiring and something that global audiences will be thrilled by. Tom has proven his prowess as a filmmaker and this romantic tale of revenge and regret will be a fantastic addition to our slate."
Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams are set to star as Tony Hastings and Susan Morrow in the adaptation. The story centers on Susan, who receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, which recounts the fictional life of Tony Hastings. As she becomes more drawn in to the story, she is forced to confront her past. The title of the adaptation comes from one of the stories in the manuscript.
Tom Ford had originally planned on self-financing the adaptation, so he could retain all creative control, but he later became open to accepting a worldwide distribution deal. The deal is similar to Focus' The Theory of Everything, which took in over $120 million worldwide and earned 5 Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. The Nocturnal Animals adaptation marks Tom Ford's follow-up to his directorial debut, 2009's A Single Man, which was nominated for Best Picture.