Indian Paintbrush, the film financing/production arm of billionaire industrialist Steven Rales, is staffing up. Rales this fall brought in Mark Roybal to run the company, and the longtime president of Scott Rudin Productions has added two creative executives: Overbrook Entertainment executive Jeff Sommerville has signed on to be senior veep and Focus Features executive Michael Pruss will be vice president of production.
Sommerville started at Industry Entertainment and was an associate producer on The 25th Hour, while the British-born Pruss worked on such Focus projects as Milk and the Anton Corbjin-directed The American. He also set up The Song Is You with Bill Condon, Cruise of the Gods with David Guion & Michael Handelman, and True Crime with Brett Ratner.
Indian Paintbrush is currently in discussions to finance Moon Rise Kingdom, the next film from director Wes Anderson that has Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton in talks to star. The film will be produced by Scott Rudin and Anderson, and shooting is expected to begin in the spring. Rales was executive producer of Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited.
EXCLUSIVE: In a move that signals billionaire Steven Rales’ intent to step up his output of auteur-driven prestige films, he has hired Mark Roybal to become president of production of his Indian Paintbrush banner. Roybal spent the last 14 years working for producer Scott Rudin, the last 5 as Rudin’s president of production. During that run, Roybal was executive producer of the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men and a producer on Doubt and brought in such projects as Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the Rudin-produced 9/11-themed drama which will go into production early next year with Stephen Daldry directing Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks.
Rales, an industrialist who regularly makes the Forbes list of richest men in America, started the Santa Monica-based Indian Paintbrush in 2006. The company has made an overhead deal with Up in the Air director Jason Reitman’s Right of Way banner, and has produced the Wes Anderson-directed The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited, both produced by Rudin. Indian Paintbrush just co-financed with Paramount Jeff Who Lives at Home, which is directed by Cyrus helmers Jay and Mark Duplass and stars Jason Segel and Ed Helms.
Roybal’s mandate: be aggressive in acquiring filmmaker-driven properties on the ground floor and turn them into films that Indian Paintbrush will either fully finance or co-finance with studios. The disappearance of studio specialty shingles has created a need for new players. Studios want these pictures, particularly around Oscar … Read More »