Over the past few days, the Toronto Film Festival has been screening several dozen films for its annual extravaganza. Every year, filmmakers from around the world hope they will be one of the standouts that will be bought up by major film studios in order for the whole world to witness their film. Well, this year, it appears that there is one film above all of the others. That title belongs to Chris Rock’s film, “Top Five.” A semi-autobiographical film starring Rock himself as a stand up comedian turned movie star.
Buzz surrounding the film has been immense, comparing Rock’s work to that of Woody Allen and saying that this is a turning point in the career of Rock. It is a film that is definitely out of Rock’s old elements. It has an epic cast, including the likes of Rosario Dawson, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg and Gabrielle Union. That star power has caused studios to be circling this film like mad.
Last year’s biggest seller from the festival was “Can a Song Save Your Life,” which received a final offer of $7,000,000, an immense sum. However, this year—with seven large movie studios all in a bidding war—Rock’s film has far surpassed that, receiving a $12,500,000 bid from Paramount.
According to Mike Fleming Jr. of Deadline.com, during the screening of the film at the festival the crowd was incredibly raucous throughout. Some even compared the atmosphere to that of a rock concert. The reaction no doubt has drawn the bids even higher. But Paramount’s most recent bid also comes with an additional likelihood besides money: they’ll receive the rights to the film. Brad Grey, a higher up at Paramount, and the one who made the $12,500,000 offer, has been friends with Rock for 30 years, as well as one of the film’s producers Scott Rudin.
It is unknown as of now if a deal has been struck, but word has it that with the combined relationship and immense monetary offer, it is highly assumed that Rock and Rudin will take the deal and bring the film to Paramount for worldwide distribution.