It may or may not be a complete disaster as a movie, but low-budget indie The Canyons has definitely gotten more than its fair share of publicity.
For that, credit can be given to the cast, led by porn star James Deen and publicly troubled Lindsay Lohan, not to mention director Paul Schrader and writer Bret Easton Ellis. Rejections by Sundance and SXSW added to the tale. But IFC Films picked up U.S. rights last month, and now we'll find out if the world at large cares enough to pony up money to see it.
Voltage Pictures has acquired international sales rights to the film, according to Screen Daily, and will offer it to buyers beginning in May at Cannes. The company, based in Los Angeles, produced William Friedkin's Killer Joe last year and has a stake in Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon (formerly Don Jon's Addiction), which will be out later this year.
In its favor, The Canyons has its low production budget, and the upcoming U.S. release, set for summer, may unearth critical champions. It was never destined for anything more than a niche audience, but there was some thought aforehand that it might help resuscitate the careers of Lohan, Schrader, and, to some extent, Ellis. If nothing else, it will be a big curiosity item in the States; it will be fascinating to see how many international distributors take a chance on it.