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Netflix buys “Fair Play,” Searchlight acquires “Theater Camp”

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Courtesy of Netflix
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Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor in "Fair Play."

The return of the Sundance Film Festival means the return of major media money in the Wasatch Back.

Netflix announced Monday it’s acquired the worldwide rights to the thriller “Fair Play,” which premiered Friday afternoon at the Park City Library. Multiple reports suggest the deal is in the $20 million range, which could make it the largest of the festival thus far.

The film centers on an unexpected promotion at a cutthroat New York hedge fund, which pushes a young couple’s relationship to the brink, threatening to unravel far more than their recent engagement.

It was written and directed by 37-year-old Chloe Domont, who has directed episodes of HBO’s “Ballers.” The two leads include Phoebe Dynevor of Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” and Alden Ehrenreich of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

In a scoop, the trade publication Deadline reported Searchlight Pictures is in final talks to acquire the mockumentary “Theater Camp.” The purchase is around $8 million, and under the deal Searchlight would release it theatrically.

The film stars Ben Platt, who rose to prominence on Broadway leading the musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” At 23, he became the youngest solo recipient of the Tony Award for best actor in a leading musical role.

Molly Gordon stars in the film that she also co-directed and co-wrote. It premiered Saturday at the Eccles to a standing ovation.

Additionally, Magnolia Pictures has acquired the Sundance documentary “Little Richard: I Am Everything.” It plans to release it in theaters in April. It premiered opening night and explores the Black queer origins of rock n’ roll and the key role played by Richard Penniman, better known as Little Richard.

Parker Malatesta covers Park City for KPCW. Before coming to NPR, he spent one year as a general assignment reporter for TownLift in Park City. He previously was the news editor at The News Record, the student paper at the University of Cincinnati. He loves running, reading, and urban planning.