Neon Takes Soderbergh’s Ghost Thriller “Presence” After Sundance Premiere

Presence, the twisty new thriller from Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh, has sold to Neon.

The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week, puts a unique spin on the classic haunted house genre, unfolding from the perspective of the spirit that wanders throughout the two-story home. While we don't know its exact purpose, the "ghost" seems hellbent on flexing its muscles amid a family who appears to be dealing with many personal issues.

Just how much Neon paid for the film is unknown, but the deal is for worldwide rights.

This sale comes on the heels of a relatively slow Sundance. Given the current box office struggles for most independent films, studios haven't been quick to act, taking their time to assess the situation surrounding each movie seeking distribution at the usually robust festival.

A Real Pain with Jesse Eisenberg and Kieran Culkin sold to Searchlight Pictures for $10 million, while Netflix landed horror hit It's What's Inside for $17 million.  Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story finds itself favorably positioned amid a bidding war, while Thelma, the June Squibb action thriller, has piqued buyers' interest but hasn't yet locked down a home.

Presence marked Soderbergh's return to Park City, where thirty-five years ago, he sold his first feature film, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, to Miramax. That film ushered in a new wave of storytelling, notably within the indie space. Time will tell if Presence has the same industry effect.

Written by David Koepp, Presence stars Lucy Liu, Chris Sullivan, Eddy Maddy, Calling Liang, and West Mulholland.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.