On the eve of the Cannes Film Market, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has struck a multi-territory deal for Foresight Unlimited’s Neil Bogart biopic "Spinning Gold," headlining Justin Timberlake as the infamous record executive who was closely aligned with the rise of disco.
The initial pact is for Latin America, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, including Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Sony Worldwide is expected to acquire rights for additional major territories in the coming days.
Mark Damon's Foresight is financing and producing "Spinning Gold" (Damon knew Bogart). On Wednesday, Timberlake and Foresight will co-host a brunch in Cannes for foreign buyers to plug the film, followed later in the evening by a music-laced party.
Timothy Scott Bogart, Neil Bogart’s son, wrote the script and is producing alongside Laurence Mark, Gary A. Randall, Timberlake and Damon.
The film is set to start shooting early next year, although a director hasn't yet been announced. RCA Records will also partner on the project and will release the movie’s soundtrack. CAA is representing domestic rights.
"Spinning Gold" is described as a rags-to-riches story chronicling the tale of a poor kid from Brooklyn who went on to define the pop music culture of his time. In his day, Bogart, who died at the age of 39 in 1982, was credited with discovering and launching the careers of a generation of superstars, including Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, Gladys Knight, KISS, Parliament, Donna Summer and the Village People.
“The Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquistions group are great partners, so we are delighted to be working together again on what is going to be a music extravaganza of a film,” Damon said.
“With the full support of Justin, who will be in Cannes to meet with the international buyers on the first day of the film festival at a special event to launch the film, we feel confident Spinning Gold is hitting all the right notes.”
The deal was negotiated by Foresight president Tamara Birkemoe and Jenna Sanz-Agero on behalf of Foresight, and Michael Helfand, executive vice president of business affairs, Joe Matukewicz, senior vice president of acquisitions, and Jon Freedberg, vice president of business development, on behalf of SPWA.