Fox Searchlight Purchases Nat Turner’s “The Birth of a Nation” For Record Breaking Amount

Though the 2015 Oscar season is still not over, there’s chatter over what next year’s slate of potential nominees could look like.

Emerging triumphantly from the Sundance Film Festival, is actor turned director Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, based on the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner.

In addition to directing the film, Parker wrote the screenplay and stars as the titular Turner. The rest of the cast boasts a lot of big names, including Armie Hammer, How To Get Away With Murder’s Aja Naomi King, Academy Award Nominee Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union and Penelope Ann Miller.

The film was heavily sought out by distributors such as Netflix, The Weinstein Company and Sony. Fox Searchlight acquired the picture however for a record setting $17.5 million.

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Fox Searchlight has successfully distributed Oscar winning films such as 12 Years A SlaveBlack SwanBirdman and Slumdog Millionaire and obviously want to add “The Birth of a Nation” to that list.

Reaction to the film has been ecstatic, to say the least. Variety’s Justin Chang had this to say about the film, from a rave review:

The Birth of a Nation exists to provoke a serious debate about the necessity and limitations of empathy, the morality of retaliatory violence, and the ongoing black struggle for justice and equality in this country. It earns that debate and then some.”

Prior to starring, writing and directing this film, Parker has starred in several films such as Beyond The LightsThe Great Debaters and Red Tails.

A release date for the film has yet to be announced.

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