Mindy Kaling's Late Night Is The First Must-See Movie Out Of Sundance

Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images.
The Sundance Film Festival is known for debuting thoughtful, groundbreaking dramas and documentary films, but one movie is getting all the buzz and all the money: Late Night, a comedy starring and written by our eternal fave, Mindy Kaling. Also starring Emma Thompson (another Hollywood fixture who can do no wrong), the film was directed by Nisha Ganatra (Dear White People, Fresh Off the Boat) — and it has just set a record for a picture deal.
The Los Angeles Times reports that after its Sundance premiere, Amazon purchased Late Night for the cool sum of $13 million. It’s the largest acquisition for a domestic movie from Sundance, which is an especially huge accomplishment for a project helmed by two women of color.
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“Mindy Kaling has crafted the rare film that is both entertaining and powerful. The moment the lights came up after the premiere, we knew Late Night is a film our viewers will love and talk about,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, in a statement, according to CBR. Kaling thanked Amazon for giving her movie a huge release, writing on Twitter, “We worked so hard on this. Can’t wait for you all to see it!”
In Late Night, Emma Thompson plays Katherine, a Miranda Priestly-level boss who hosts a late-night talk show. Her show isn’t doing so well in the ratings, so she brings Molly (Kaling) into the all-male writer’s room as a diversity hire. And because everything she touches turns to gold, she’s able to help revive Katherine’s show back into relevance — but not without behind-the-scenes trials and tribulations..
Kaling chatted with the crowd during a post-screening Q&A, USA Today reports. Her inspiration for the movie comes from “being an outsider and a real fan of things.” She talked about feeling underrepresented in movies and TV, and how Late Night “comes from a real love and passion for movies that show that kind of outsider.”
Kaling also reportedly wrote the film with Emma Thompson in mind for the central role — a decision she told the Hollywood Reporter was “the stupidest thing you can do, because it almost never works,” but if the standing ovation and glowing reviews are any indication, writing for and casting Thompson in anything is a very wise choice.
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Light Night is getting glowing reviews from movie critics, movie reporters, and film fans in general. Folks are praising its excellent woman-centered cast, its hilarity, and its feminist message. We are so stoked to stream Late Night later this year.
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