Amazon Studios set a record at the Sundance Film Festival in acquiring Mindy Kaling and Nisha Ganatra's indie comedy Late Night. The deal for US distribution closed at $13 million, which is the highest in Sundance history for the domestic market.
“Mindy Kaling has crafted the rare film that is both entertaining and powerful,” said the new head of Amazon Studios, Jennifer Salke. “The moment the lights came up after the premiere, we knew Late Night is a film our viewers will love and talk about."
Salke praised the film as groundbreaking for female characters and gave props to Kaling and her script. "It’s an incisive workplace comedy that reinvents all the tropes about women. We too rarely get to see female characters like this — complex, flawed, and unapologetically ambitious," she said. "And that’s a credit to Kaling’s writing, Nisha Ganatra’s directing, and Emma Thompson, who delivers a brilliant performance alongside the always incredible Kaling."
Amazon was one of four bidders for Late Night and their bid was $1 million dollars more than what it acquired The Big Sick for, which was a tremendous success for the studio.
Directed by Nisha Ganatra and co-starring Kaling (who also produced on top of writing), Emma Thompson and the legendary John Lithgow, Late Night tells the story of a talk-show host (Thompson), trying to spice up her show and keep her slot, hiring her first writer of Indian descent (Kaling) and the bond the two develop. The film will have a theatrical release before landing on Amazon Prime Video.