Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   January 26, 2015

VARIETY – Fox Searchlight has closed to pick up “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” Variety has learned.

It’s easy to understand the studio’s enthusiasm. The dramedy about a high school student who is basically strong-armed into befriending a classmate with cancer earned a standing ovation when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday.

In a laudatory review, Variety’s Peter Debruge wrote that the film “has the potential to outperform last year’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars.” He praised the picture for mixing in laughter and pathos.

Following a pitched fight to land festival favorite “Dope,” which resulted in Open Road walking away with the film for $7 million, the battle to nab “Me and Earl” looked like it could have been another big slug-fest.

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directed the picture, which Jesse Andrews adapted from his book. Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal and Connie Britton star in the film. WME is handling sales for the picture.

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