EXCLUSIVE: Relativity Media has optioned Ecstasia, a futuristic drama that was written and will be directed by The Cooler helmer Wayne Kramer. Kramer became available after he exited the Sylvester Stallone-starrer Headshot, and he expects this to be his next film. It came to Relativity through its relationship with Richard Branson’s film label, Virgin Produced. Set in an “alternate universe,” the drama occurs at a time when love no longer exists, except when it is artificially simulated through a costly procedure called “commitment.” Ecstasia is accomplished through computer chips implanted in each couple. They are incredibly expensive to maintain, comparable to managing a mortgage. Those who cannot meet the cost are forced into “dissolution,” which ends the emotional link. Kramer’s film revolves around a man and woman who are 10 days away from losing their “commitment,” trying desperately to refinance their love. The film will be produced by Jason Felts, Rene Rigal, Ryan Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, Matt Rhodes and Renee Tab. Kramer’s repped by WME and Sentient Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: At a time when organized crime films are back in vogue, Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh is wetting his beak. He’s acquired Ness/Capone, a Grant Pierce Myers script that made the 2010 Black Script and puts a new spin on the epic battle between Eliot Ness and Al Capone during the Prohibition Era 1920s. That battle was famously chronicled in the Brian DePalma-directed movie based on the TV series The Untouchables. Myers went back to the history books and came away with a much different version of Ness. While Kevin Costner played him as an incorruptible married choirboy who had to be taught to meet the mob on its own crooked terms, Ness/Capone’s Ness is a skirt-chasing 26-year old publicity hound who seemed to get an adrenaline charge out of courting danger, kicking in doors, smashing moonshine stores and rubbing it in the noses of Capone and other mobsters. He paraded confiscated bootleg trucks past Capone’s hotel, calling Capone in advance to suggest he look out the window. Deals are still being worked out, but the film will be produced by Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jeremy Bell along with Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari and Virgin Produced’s Jason Felts and Rene Rigal.
This puts Relativity Media in another potential pic race (it has already gone to the mattresses against Universal over rival Snow White films). Warner Bros has its own Capone project, the Walon Green-scripted Cicero, an origin story. I’ve reported that the project has interest from David Yates when he resurfaces from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, his fourth and final Potter pic. Warner Bros also is going gangbusters on Gangster Squad, the Ruben Fleischer-directed pic that has Sean Penn negotiating to play L.A. mobster Mickey Cohen, and Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin as the cops who try to bring him down.
E! Entertainment TV has signed multiyear first-look deal with Virgin Produced, the recently launched production arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The pact is for reality programming. Virgin Produced’s unscripted development will be overseen by CEO Jason Felts and Chief Creative Officer Justin Berfield who were previously active in TV through their company J2TV. The deal with E! marks Virgin Produced’s first move in television and follows the recent launch of the company’s multiyear joint venture with Relativity Media, through which it plans to produce 2-3 films a year.