'Buried,' 'Machete' Find Studio Homes, Future Wide Releases

Sundance is moving right along, as anyone who was watching MTV Movies Blog this past weekend knows very well. One of the flicks we're all very excited for here in the newsroom is "Buried," the Ryan Reynolds-driven -- it's a one-man show, and he's it -- story of a military contractor in Iraq who is kidnapped and buried alive with nothing more than a phone, a lighter and orders to raise $5 million for his captors.

The danger with Sundance movies of course is that they screen, get great reviews and then are never heard from again because no studio bothers to pick it up or, worse, picks it up and -- no pun intended -- buries it. Reynolds is a high-profile star of course, and no one really expected "Buried" to stay underground, but you never know with these things. The word coming out of Park City is that the $3 million budgeted movie was picked up by Lionsgate -- one of the first big acquisitions of the fest -- for $3.2 million.

"Buried" is the work of director Rodrigo Cortes and writer Chris Sparling. Reynolds is the only human actor to appear in the movie, and the setting is similarly restricted to his coffin prison. Early reports coming out of Sundance have been positive, studio deal aside. You can get a better feel for the movie in the trailer and the clip here on Movies Blog, both of which we premiered last week.

In other news, Robert Rodriguez has reason to celebrate, and he's not even pimping his upcoming movie in Utah right now. A heated auction last week ended with Fox as the new owner of his upcoming "Machete." We've covered the movie quite extensively here on the blog. It's a slasher flick based on one of the fake trailers that ran at the mid-point of the Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino double-feature, "Grindhouse."

Six studios vied for rights to release the film, but Fox ultimately won out, over Sony, The Weinstein Co., Warner Bros, Lionsgate and Paramount, Deadline Hollywood exclusively reports. All bidders got to see roughly a half-hour of film; Rodriguez and his agent Robert Newman asked for $9 million up front, a wide release guarantee and backend returns for Rodriguez. Fox and Paramount stepped up and were subsequently asked for a higher backend percentage, which ruffled some feathers. Fox, also releasing the Rodriguez-produced "Predators," got over it quicker and "Machete" is now theirs.

There's more to the story, which you can read at the source link above. The takeaway for you readers is that we've got two potentially cool releases to look forward too: "Buried" and "Machete," which features a dynamite cast led by Danny Trejo and also starring Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro and Lindsay Lohan.

"Buried" or "Machete": which do you want to see more?


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