EXCLUSIVE: With his Runner Runner set to hit theaters this week, Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) has signed to write and direct Bigger for Bee Holder Productions. The biopic tells the story of the Weider brothers — bodybuilding icon Joe Weider, the Canadian entrepreneur who created the Mr. Olympia competition and mentored budding champ Arnold Schwarzenegger, and brother Ben, who co-founded the International Federation of BodyBuilding with Joe in 1946. Steve Lee Jones and his Bee Holder Productions have optioned the rights to the Weider brothers’ life story as well as rights to Brothers of Iron, the duo’s 2006 biographical tome chronicling their journey from dirt-poor sons of Jewish immigrants battling anti-Semitism to the owners of an international health and fitness empire. The Weider family business grew to include a supplements line, fitness magazines, and the Mr. Olympia, Ms. Olympia, and Masters Olympia bodybuilding contests. Bigger will chronicle the siblings’ rise thanks to Joe’s vision and Ben’s biz smarts.
Next James Patterson Project? Helmer Brad Furman Boards Potential Drama Series Based On ‘Private’ Novels
EXCLUSIVE: Brad Furman has been set to direct a drama series based on James Patterson’s book series Private, which is being pitched around town as a straight-to-series project. Sonar Entertainment is producing. Furman most recently directed Lionsgate’s 2011 feature The Lincoln Lawyer. John McLaughlin (The Black Swan) has written the initial two-episode pilot and will pen future episodes. Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro of Tribeca Productions have become involved as exec producers in the project, which will center on the novels’ protagonist former CIA agent-turned-private eye Jack Morgan. Tribeca’s Berry Welsh will serve as co-executive producer, and Patterson exec produces along with Leopoldo Gout of James Patterson Entertainment. McLaughlin, Furman, Patterson and Tribeca Prods are repped by CAA; Furman is also repped by Atlas Entertainment.
How does a wannabe director get that big break behind the camera? Well, Kirk Sullivan is in Colombia prepping his feature directing debut on the tentatively titled The Dead Men, a thriller about an American traveling in Colombia who becomes involved with a group that lives in an abandoned hospital with a haunted past. Every path to the director’s chair is different, but Sullivan’s came from hustling six years, until he was lucky enough to be Joel Silver‘s assistant and plucky enough to raise money to make a short film, The Come Up, as a calling card (check it out below). After graduating from USC in 2006 (on his third attempt to get into the cinematic arts and production program), he worked as a production assistant, sound guy, camera guy, assistant to Lincoln Lawyer producer Brad Furman, and then assistant to the line producer on Silver’s film The Losers. When Silver needed an assistant, his exec Andrew Rona helped Sullivan get a meeting and he got the job.