Apple TV+ nabs rights to stream Sundance favorite “Cha Cha Real Smooth”

The Apple TV+ Original Films division has won out in a bidding war for Sundance 2022 favorite “Cha Cha Real Smooth” from writer and director Cooper Raiff.

Glowing Apple TV+ logo set against an all-dark background
  • Apple TV+ buys the “Cha Cha Real Smooth” movie at Sundance for $15 million
  • Apple TV+ won out in a bidding war for the worldwide rights to stream the film
  • This marks the biggest deal at the 2022 Virtual Sundance Film Festival
  • Cooper Raiff wrote and directed the film, and also stars in it

Apple buys new Apple TV+ film “Cha Cha Real Smooth”

Deadline reports that Apple reportedly beat out other streamers in a bidding war for “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” a Sundance favorite. The company reportedly paid $15 million for worldwide rights to stream the film on the Apple TV+ service sometime later this year. This is apparently the biggest deal made at this year’s Sundance festival although it doesn’t beat out Apple’s record-setting acquisition of “CODA” for $25 million at the 2021 Virtual Sundance Film Festival.

Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2022 on January 23 in the US Dramatic Competition category, “Cha Cha Real Smooth” was written and directed by Cooper Raiff who also plays in it as a New Jersey college graduate alongside Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Brad Garrett and others.

Pic is Raiff’s followup to his 2020 SXSW Grand Jury Prize–winning debut feature Shithouse. He plays a directionless college graduate in New Jersey who gets over his head in a relationship with a young mom and her autistic teenage daughter, as he works a job party-starting bar and bat mitzvahs of his younger brother’s classmates.

The report doesn’t indicate when the film might be making its debut on Apple’s video service but watch this space as we’ll be making sure to keep you in the loop. The company’s Hollywood team has been busy picking up interesting projects lately. In February, for example, Apple TV+ will stream “The Sky is Everywhere,” a young-adult romance scheduled to premiere on Valentine’s Day weekend. Later this fall, Apple TV+ will premiere “Luck,” its first major animated feature in partnership with Skydance.

The streamer is also working on a new series based on the 1988 black comedy movie “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” that launched Pedro Almodovar’s career.