Amazon has come out the victor in a full-blown bidding war for the domestic rights to indie comedy, Late Night. Amazon Studios will enter advanced negotiations with a $13 million contract for the right to distribute Late Night in the U.S. The deal set a record as the most expensive purchase for domestic distribution in the history of the Sundance Film Festival. Late Night features high profile stars including Mindy Kaling (writer, actor, producer), Nisha Ganatra (director), and Emma Thompson (actor). Amazon looks to use the film’s compelling feminist narrative and star studded crew to make Late Night a landmark film for the studio.
The film opens on a talk show host (Thompson) in jeopardy of losing her job. The narrative then follows Thompson’s (both substantive and trivial) attempts to modernize her program. In her aim to shake things up, Thompson adds a female comedian (Kaling) to the program’s previously all male writing to staff. The film explores the different pressures professional women face in a male dominated industry.
Jennifer Sales, chief of Amazon Studios commented on the film and purchase, “The moment the lights came up after the premiere, we knew Late Night is a film our viewers will love and talk about. It’s an incisive workplace comedy that reinvents all the tropes about women. We too rarely get to see female characters like this — complex, flawed, and unapologetically ambitious. And that’s a credit to Kaling’s writing, Nisha Ganatra’s directing, and Emma Thompson, who delivers a brilliant performance alongside the always incredible Kaling. We can’t wait to share this wonderful movie with our customers, first in theaters and then on Amazon Prime Video.”
Late Night demonstrates Hollywood’s (slow) evolution to regularly include talented female filmmakers. The landmark deal highlights diversity’s climbing value in the modern entertainment market. Look to see Ganatra and Kaling’s Late Night to make a theatrical debut before becoming an exclusive part of Amazon’s streaming library. This news was originally reported by Deadline.