Fox Searchlight Buys Choke for $5 Million!

ChokeIn my review of Clark Gregg’s adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk novel Choke (which was posted just minutes ago), I nervously wrote a plea to distributors, hoping that this film would get the big screen release that it deserves. Choke is not an easy film to market. It contains a lot of nudity and sex, and most distributors might not want to be associated with a Da Vinci Code-esque controversial subplot. Well good news Palahniuk fans, Choke was purchased for $5 million by…

Fox Searchight!!!!!

Fox Searchlight is by far my favorite studio in terms in independent releases. Searchlight knows how to market a little film, and they know how to execute the platform release. Searchlight is the company behind the success of Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, Garden State, Once, Napoleon Dynamite, Thank You For Smoking, and Sideways.

I’m in line to see the new Morgan Spurlock movie, than after I will be off to interview Chuck Palahnuik. So please check back for that interview later tonight or tomorrow.

Official Plot Synopsis: Actor-turned-director Clark Gregg shows he is as adept behind the camera as in front of it with CHOKE, a wickedly colorful dark comedy about mothers and sons, sexual compulsion, and the sordid underbelly of Colonial theme parks.

Victor Mancini, a sex-addicted med-school dropout, keeps his increasingly deranged mother, Ida, in an expensive private mental hospital by working days as a historical reenactor. At night he runs a scam where he deliberately chokes in upscale restaurants to form parasitic relationships with the wealthy patrons who “save” him. When, in a rare lucid moment, Ida reveals that she has withheld the shocking truth of his father’s identity, Victor must enlist the aid of his best friend, Denny, a recovering chronic masturbator, and his mother’s beautiful attending physician, Dr. Paige Marshall, to solve this mystery before the truth of his possibly divine parentage is lost forever.

Adapted from the acclaimed novel by Chuck Palahniuk, CHOKE tickles the funny bone as it dives into darker areas of human behavior. At the heart of the film is yet another staggering performance by Sam Rockwell as Victor. He fully inhabits the character and nails both the comedic and dramatic aspects with indelible timing and delivery. A delicious blend of fresh writing, juicy performances, and sharp directing, CHOKE is actually quite easy to swallow.

Chuck Palahnuik’s Choke Soundtrack


The big screen adaptation of Chuck Palahnuik‘s Choke is my second most anticipated movie of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The first Palahnuik film adaptation, Fight Club, had a great electronic score by The Dust Brothers, backed up by the powerful Pixies climax of “Where is My Mind”. So what will Clark Gregg‘s film bring in terms of a musical sound? Here is a sneak peak:

  • Radiohead – “Reckoner”
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – “Satan Said Dance”
  • The Fiery Furnaces – “Navy Nurse”
  • Ben Kweller – “The Rules”
  • The Twilight Singers – “There’s Been An Accident”
  • Rogue Wave – “Lake Michigan” (which plays out in the film’s final credits)
  • Nathan Larson (Boys Don’t Cry, Palindromes) composed the film’s score
  • Alap Momin (a.k.a. The Oktopus) from the outré New Jersey hip-hop group, Dälek also scored one musical cue in the film.

Choke premieres on January 21st at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. I’ll be in Park City covering the festival, so check back for a review. No distribution deal is in place, but with the writers strike in full effect, I don’t expect any remotely marketable film to leave Park City without a studio deal.

source: theplaylist