EXCLUSIVE: Mark Roybal, the well-respected president of Steven Rales’ indie production shingle Indian Paintbrush, is leaving. He is being hired by 20th Century Fox production president Emma Watts to become EVP Production. He fills the slot that Peter Kang left when he exited the studio and subsequently signed on at Paramount. I’m told that Roybal will oversee Gone Girl and the Matt Reeves-directed sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Gone Girl, an adaptation of the Gillian Flynn bestseller, is the odds-on favorite to be the next film that David Fincher directs.
He leaves Rales’ Indian Paintbrush in a good place. The company has established itself as a respected financier and producer of classy fare, from the Drake Doremus-directed Like Crazy to the Wes Anderson-directed Moonrise Kingdom and his follow-up The Grand Budapest Hotel. Also coming is Jason Reitman’s next film, Labor Day. Roybal’s exit is amicable. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Indian Paintbrush has acquired screen rights to The Andalucian Friend, a debut novel by Swedish author Alexander Soderberg that created a huge buzz and sold big at the Frankfurt Book Fair several weeks ago. The novel sold strongly in countries around the world, based on a 100 page partial manuscript. It will be published in the U.S. by Crown in 2013. The book is intended to be the first of a trilogy that follows a woman who works as a nurse and is a single mother, who falls in love with the head of a major mob family and gets involved in a conflict between two powerful crime syndicates and a group of corrupt police officers. Indian Paintbrush will finance the film, with Steven Rales and Mark Roybal producing. The deal was brokered by IPB’s Peter McPartlin with the author’s reps, Rabineau Wachter Sanford Gillett’s Sylvie Rabineau and Keith Fleer, and the Salomonsson Agency, whose Leyla Belle Drake will be exec producer. The author will also be an exec producer.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and Indian Paintbrush have hired Chris Terrio to write A Murder Foretold, the fact-based drama based on the David Grann article in the April 4 issue of The New Yorker about a series of high-level murders in Guatemala. The film will be produced by Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch and Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales and Mark Roybal. Terrio is coming off Argo, the Ben Affleck-directed drama that is currently in production at Warner Bros. I’m told Terrio will script A Murder Foretold before getting started on an adaptation of the Harlan Coben novel Tell No One, which was previously turned into a French film.
A Murder Foretold takes place in a country devastated by killings routinely perpetrated by everyone from secret police to drug dealers. Rodrigo Rosenberg, a wealthy businessman who watched his wife-to-be get assassinated along with her father, was later gunned down while riding his bicycle. His murder stirred up an entire country frustrated by the endless waves of violence, sometimes involving corrupt government officials. At his funeral, Rosenberg had an intermediary disperse copies of a videocassette he had recorded himself, one that implicated the president, his wife, and other close aides in his killing. A special prosecutor was appointed, and he followed a trail of clues that led to an unbelievable conclusion and a real crackdown on violence in Guatemala. The project sold in a multi-studio bidding battle last April. Grann and … Read More »
Focus Features acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Lorene Scafaria-directed Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which is Steve Carell’s first project since leaving The Office. He stars with Keira Knightley and shooting begins this month in L.A. The premise: the world is ending, and a man heads cross country to reunite with his school age girlfriend for their final days. A friend (Knightley) accompanies him on the road trip and complicates things. Scafaria wrote the script and Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Joy Gorman produce with Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales and Mark Roybal. The film’s co-financed by Indian Paintbrush and Mandate Pictures, with Mandate’s Nathan Kahane and Nicole Brown exec producing. Lionsgate is handling international sales on the pic.
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 »