Sundance buzz swirls around “Margin Call” with Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons

By Sean O’Connell The film industry continues to brave the harsh winter weather and long lines in Park City, Utah, for the annual Sundance Film Festival. Early word out of Sundance usually revolves around the actual films. As the fest progresses this week, though, we’ll hear more and more about distribution deals and purchases (particularly on Sunday, when Kevin Smith hosts that live “Red State” auction immediately after his new film premieres).

The first film at this year’s fest to generate both positive reviews and purchase buzz, however, is “Margin Call,” a financial thriller written and directed by J.C. Chandor that stars Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto and Paul Bettany. Set during the early stages of the current financial crisis, it has been compared favorably to Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” (a good sign).

Not so good, however, was the Twitter response at the start of the fest when “Call” was screened in a tiny theater, meaning several press and industry folks who wanted to see the film were turned away.

But those who saw it were very impressed. In fact, sources are telling the Hollywood Reporter that “several offers have already come in” for the film, and that The Weinstein Co., Phase 4, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Focus were among the reps who made it into that first industry screening.

The film, according to THR, is “screening in the festival’s Premieres section, with its first public screening coming Tuesday night,” so we’ll continue to track the film’s progress as Sundance chugs on.

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