NEON has announced they are partnering with STUDIOCANAL and Blueprint Pictures to co-develop the narrative remake of their lauded documentary The Painter and the Thief from Benjamin Ree. Following the film’s word-of-mouth success and increasing awards momentum, NEON sparked a bidding war for the buzzed about project, ultimately won by STUDIOCANAL and Blueprint Pictures. NEON had acquired remake rights along with the documentary following its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won for “Creative Storytelling”. It has gone on to earn multiple awards across the festival circuit, most recently taking the “Best Documentary Feature” award out of the BFI London Film Festival, and received two Critics’ Choice Awards Nominations for Best Documentary Feature and Best Director. STUDIOCANAL and Blueprint Pictures will develop and package the feature, with Blueprint producing and NEON and STUDIOCANAL executive producing. NEON and STUDIOCANAL will finance the development and production. A writer, director and cast are yet to be attached.
The Painter and the Thief follows a Czech artist who, desperate for answers about the theft of her 2 paintings, seeks out and befriends the career criminal who stole them. NEON released the documentary to critical acclaim, with Variety calling it “incredible” and IndieWire saying it is a “nuanced and beguiling new documentary”, and New York Magazine emphasizing the “strange, delicately made film, which manages to defy expectations about both of its subjects and the power balance between them.”
The deal was negotiated by Jeff Deutchman for NEON, with Shana Eddy, Rachel Henochsberg and Vanessa Saunoi on behalf of STUDIOCANAL and Diarmuid McKeown on behalf of Blueprint Pictures.
This is the latest foray for NEON into development and production on the heels of their Best Picture win for Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, a film they boarded at script stage, as well as Alex Gibney’s Totally Under Control which was recently released on Apple TV. NEON has several projects at various stages of development and production, including Pablo Larrain’s Spencer.