We've been tracking Blindness, the upcoming Fernando Meirelles film, for months. To recap, Erik Davis first reported that Don McKeller had adapted the novel by Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago, which "revolves around a blindness epidemic that sweeps through a contemporary city, paralyzing its citizens to a point where society is on the verge of breaking down." Julianne Moore and Daniel Craig were in talks to star as a doctor and his wife, the only person unaffected by the epidemic. Two months later, Jessica Barnes told us that Craig dropped out. He was replaced by Mark Ruffalo shortly thereafter, as noted by Jennifer DeFilippo. Just a week after that, Monika Bartyzel enthused about the cast members who were added: Danny Glover, Gael Garcia Bernal and Alica Braga. And now the point of the recap: Miramax has secured US distribution rights to the film, as reported by indieWIRE and The Hollywood Reporter. The deal was finalized Saturday morning in Toronto.

In his indieWIRE item, Eugene Hernandez says that Blindness has been shooting locally in Toronto before moving to Brazil. He reports Miramax's description, which adds a positive phrase to the otherwise dire premise: "A small group of the afflicted band together to triumphantly overcome the horrific conditions of their imposed quarantine." Well, that's certainly more cheery, isn't it? With so many fall/festival films described as depressing and dark, perhaps Miramax wants to set Blindness apart as more upbeat, though still serious fare. Will they change the title to Temporary Blindness?

All kidding aside, the dynamic and talented creative combination of Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener), McKellar, and that cast sounds irresistible. The purchase price was $5 million, according to Gregg Goldstein in his Hollywood Reporter story. If you can read Portuguese, you can follow along at the director's blog. Maybe we'll see the completed film next year at Toronto?