EXCLUSIVE: After seeing his long affiliation with Warner Bros end late last year, producer Basil Iwanyk has taken his Thunder Road in an intriguing and entrepreneurial direction that might become the way producers embrace the end of studio overhead deals. Iwanyk has redrawn Thunder Road and made deals with Italia Films and China-based Fundamental Films. Italia gets distribution rights in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East, and Fundamental gets releasing rights in China. Besides getting an inside track on having Thunder Road films play in China, Iwanyk gets high seven-figures to fund Thunder Road’s development. In the configuration set up by CAA and Gotham-based investment bank CEA, Thunder Road will own the rest of the world on all of the projects, and has the ability to make domestic distribution deals with any studio in town.
Under his new partnership, Iwanyk’s Thunder Road has already put together at least two star-driven projects. They include a remake of the French crime film Gang Story, which has Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa attached to direct, Liam Neeson attached to star, and David Scarpa (Daredevil reboot) writing the script. They’ve also hired Grace Of Monaco‘s Arash Amel to script the story of slain journalist Marie Colvin, that is being developed as a star vehicle for Charlize Theron. Colvin was killed in Syria last year, and the film is based on a Vanity Fair article penned by Marie Brenner. That is just a hint of the projects Iwanyk expects to materialize with a new surplus of development funding that will be spent buying and developing worthy scripts. In addition, Thunder Road also has such projects as a Summit-based Egyptian myth movie that Alex Proyas is attached to direct this fall. Thunder Road separately has a TV affiliation at Sony, and that remains intact, and the company will continue to make progress on a slew of development projects for Warner Bros, including The Guinness Book Of World Records, and a Chris Boal-scripted epic film on the life of Julius Caesar that Jonathan Liebesman is attached to direct, and the Clint Eastwood-directed A Star Is Born.
Iwanyk has spent close to the past year putting together the new construct of the company with Peter Lawson, the former top indie acquisitions executive who last year joined him for The Weinstein Company. They will produce these movies together. Thunder Road’s new construct won’t be available for every producer; Iwanyk makes studio-sized commercial action movies, the kind that makes offshore distribution companies salivate and overspend to acquire at festivals. During his long run at Warner Bros (he became a producer after serving as an executive at the studio, with both tenures spanning 13 years), Iwanyk’s Thunder Road has produced such films as the upcoming The Seventh Son, The Expendables, Clash Of The Titans, The Town and We Are Marshall.
EXCLUSIVE: Josh Hamilton’s rise from the depths of an addiction to crack to become the American League’s most feared slugger is dramatic enough to have been scripted. Sure enough, Hamilton has entrusted his rights to producer Basil Iwanyk and Thunder … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is negotiating a rights deal to use The Guinness Book Of World Records as the basis for an action adventure film. The film has been set up at WB-based Thunder Road, and the studio has hired … Read More »
Weinstein Company Setting Dylan Sellers To Run Production And Acquisitions As Donna Gigliotti Becomes Producer
EXCLUSIVE: Peter Lawson will leave The Weinstein Company shortly to become president of production at Thunder Road, Basil Iwanyk’s Warner Bros-based producing shingle. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Town scribe Aaron Stockard will adapt the Thomas Perry crime novel Strip for RT Features and Thunder Road Pictures. RT’s Rodrigo Teixeira and Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk will produce while RT’s Fernando Loureiro will be executive producer. A … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Chernin Entertainment is near a deal to acquire an untitled pitch by scribes Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark will produce with Blind Wink’s Gore Verbinski and John Krauss. Chernin will buy it … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is acquiring a pitch for an epic-sized telling of the story of general and Roman leader Gaius Julius Caesar that will be written by Chris Boal and directed by Jonathan Liebesman. The film will be produced by Basil Iwanyk and his Warner Bros-based Thunder Road banner. I’m told that it’s an original pitch that is not a biopic as much a Patton-like approach that covers the time in which Caesar was sent to Spain on a detail no one else wanted. There, he built the 10th Legion fighting force that would eventually march on Rome, overrun the forces of his close friend-turned-rival Pompey, and establish Caesar as the unrivaled ruler of the empire. The idea is to create a sweeping drama with a big movie star part, and the pitch came with some of the action scenes choreographed. The film would end with his coronation but leaves open the prospect of a second film that chronicled his trip to Egypt and eventual assassination. Iwanyk will produce with Liebesman, with David Gardner exec producing.
Liebesman, whose Battle: Los Angeles was just released on DVD, re-teams with Iwanyk just as they wrapped Clash of the Titans 2 for Warner Bros this week. The project comes from an idea that Liebesman and Iwanyk worked on with Boal while making the Clash sequel that stars Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has made a preemptive pitch deal for a science fiction action project to be written by Aaron Guzikowski that will reunite Sam Worthington with his Clash of the Titans producer Basil Iwanyk. The logline is being kept … Read More »