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Sundance dealmaking: 'Austenland' sells to Sony

Published January 22, 2013 8:36 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah filmmaker Jerusha Hess and South Jordan author Shannon Hale can pop the sparkling cider: Their movie, "Austenland," has a distribution deal.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Sony Pictures Worldwide Releasing has picked up worldwide rights to the goofy comedy, for a rumored price tag around $4 million.

The movie, which stars Keri Russell as a Jane Austen-obsessed woman who travels to a Regency-era theme park for a chance at Austen-esque romance, was for a while the subject of a bidding war between rival distributors.

Hess, famous for co-writing "Napoleon Dynamite" with her husband, Jared, co-wrote "Austenland" with Hale, who penned the novel on which it was based. The film's producers included "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer.

Sony Pictures Classics will distribute "Austenland" in the United States.