EXCLUSIVE: Joseph and Jack Nasser has come aboard to produce and finance the crime thriller from director Dennis Lee (Jesus Henry Christ, Fireflies In The Garden). Steve Hanulik wrote the screenplay for Blood Ties, which centers on a disgraced hostage negotiator who is called in to resolve a crisis at a bank only to discover that the hostage-taker is his estranged father. Nasser Entertainment‘s credits include For A Good Time Call … and the upcoming American Heist and Final Girl.
Cannes: Upstart Mulberry Films Kicks Off With ‘Purple America’; Adaptation of ‘Ice Storm’ Author’s ’90s Novel
EXCLUSIVE: Mulberry Films comes to the Croisette for the first time with the intention of turning strong literary works into films. First up: Purple America, an adaptation of the Rick Moody novel that Dennis Lee will direct and which Lee will co-write with Daniel Ragussis. This will be the first Moody novel headed for screen treatment since the Ang Lee-directed The Ice Storm. Published in 1998, Purple America is a dysfunctional family drama about how the ordinary, commonplace tragedies of life can sometimes make heroes out of very ordinary people. A fortysomething returns to Long Island to visit his invalid mom, and discovers her husband has bailed. He has to learn to face up to responsibilities. He has previously made a career avoiding this kind of thing, which is why he has not much to speak of in his empty life.
Fireflies in the Garden premiered at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival and screened in a few overseas territories but never found a U.S. distributor — until last week, when it was revealed that the Dennis Lee drama will be shown in select cities Oct. 14. Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds star with Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, and Carrie-Anne Moss. Here’s the trailer. If you were a studio boss with the chance to pick it up, would you? Because for three years, they apparently all said no.
UPDATE: The feature film Fireflies in the Garden was shot in 2007 and had been languishing. But today producers Vanessa Coifman, Marco Weber, and Sukee Chew said they’ll finally release the film domestically. Written and directed by Dennis Lee, the semi-autobiographical R-rated Fireflies will be shown on Oct. 14 in New York, LA, Chicago, and San Francisco. No name of the distributor, however. The film initially bowed at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2008 from Senator Entertainment and was released in a handful of foreign territories. But with stars like Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds joining Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, and Carrie-Anne Moss, the producers obviously are hoping it will find a U.S. audience.