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2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour

Three times lucky and fourth time the charm? Depending on who ask, The End of the Tour, the book to screen adaptation of David Lipsky’s “Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself” would be welcomed with both anticipation and trepidation (the Wallace clan haven’t warmed up to the idea). James Ponsoldt, a specialist in the human condition, has a road-tripper that fills out a certain quota: high profile sales items (at this point we have no idea if Sony might be selling or keeping) with attention-getting topliners in Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. Ponsoldt’s entire feature filmography has screened in Park City, but this is perhaps the least likely candidate to premiere this January as the shooting budget on this road-tripper was perhaps larger than that of Off the Black (2006), Smashed (2012) and The Spectacular Now (2013) combined. Production began at the beginning of ’14 and Sony acquired all English speaking rights (they don’t hold U.S rights), so this will indeed to ready for show, but might be a long shot to crack the line-up.

Gist: Written by Donald Margulies, this follows author David Foster Wallace (Segel), author of Infinite Jest who committed suicide in 2008, on a book tour at the start of his fame. Wallace is accompanied on the tour by Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Eisenberg). Along the way, jealousy and competition emerge between the two writers as they discuss women, depression and the pros and cons of fame.

Production Co./Producers: Mark Manuel (Cut Bank) and Ted O’Neal, Anonymous Content’s Matt DeRoss and David Kanter, Modern Man Films’ James Dahl.

Prediction: High-end item for the Premieres category.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. UTA and WME (domestic). Fortitude International (international)

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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