Jesse Eisenberg, Kieran Culkin Sundance Comedy-Drama ‘A Real Pain’ Sells to Searchlight for $10 Million

Jesse Eisenberg’s “A Real Pain,” one of the buzziest movies to premiere so far at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, has sold to Searchlight in a huge $10 million deal.

Given the warm reception in Park City, the film sparked an all-night bidding war among several distributions to land global rights, with the deal closing early Sunday morning.

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Eisenberg directed “A Real Pain” in addition to starring alongside Kieran Culkin. They play cousins whose tour through Poland in honor of their grandmother sparks some serious family rivalry. Their co-stars include Will Sharpe, Jennifer Grey, Kurt Egyiawan, Liza Sadovy and Daniel Oreskes.

“A Real Pain” is one of two movies that Eisenberg is headlining at this year’s festival — the other is Bleecker Street’s wacky comedy “Sasquatch Sunset.” The actor says “A Real Pain” is an acutely personal story. In the film, the cousins end up joining a Holocaust tour, and at one point in the film, they visit a nondescript house to seek some solace.

“The house at the end is my family’s house,” Eisenberg told the audience during the premiere. “They were taken out of there in 1939.”

Searchlight Pictures plans to release “A Real Pain” theatrically this year.

“We are blown away by Jesse’s vision and craft in telling this hilarious and profound film,” said Searchlight Presidents Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum. “He tells a deeply personal story and makes it universal. We can’t wait to bring it to audiences around the world.”

Eisenberg added in a statement, “Making ‘A Real Pain’ was a true labor of love, and it has been so thrilling to premiere at Sundance. I couldn’t be more honored to work with Searchlight and to bring this story to a wider audience.”

The film was produced by Dave McCary, Ali Herting, Emma Stone for Fruit Tree, Jennifer Semler and Ewa Puszczynska.

“We are the utmost believers in Jesse as a creative voice and were thrilled to collaborate again on his second film with such ambitious scope and themes,” Stone’s Fruit Tree said in a statement. “To have another friend and beloved collaborator on board in the singular Kieran Culkin was more than we can ask for, as well as working with the amazing team at Searchlight.”

Executive producers are Ryan Heller, Jennifer Westin and Michael Bloom of Topic Studios, as well as Kevin Kelly.

“We could not be more proud of Jesse and this beautiful film, and are absolutely thrilled to re-team with David, Matthew and our friends at Searchlight on its release,” said Ryan Heller, executive VP of film and documentary at Topic Studios.

CAA Media Finance and WME Independent brokered the deal with Searchlight execs Paul Hoffman and Chan Phung. Deadline first reported news of the sale.

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