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Scott Free Bolsters Production Ranks; Hires Michael Pruss, Ups Elishia Holmes

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 3:39pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Scott Free Productions has hired Indian Paintbrush executive Michael Pruss to be senior vice president of Production. Scott Free has separately promoted production executive Elishia Holmes to senior vice president of Production. Both report to Scott Free President Michael Schaefer. Pruss joins Scott Free from Indian Paintbrush where he served as vice president and oversaw the acquisition of the Drake Doremus-directed Like Crazy at the 2011 Sundance Festival. He co-produced the director’s followup, Breathe In, which will be released in the fall. Pruss also developed A Murder Foretold with Chris Terrio, The Signal with Brad Ingelsby, Off The Grid with Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers and he is a producer on Hold On To Me, the James Marsh-directed thriller that stars Carey Mulligan and Robert Pattinson. Before that he was a Focus Features exec who worked on Milk, The American and Coraline. He was raised in London.

Holmes has been a rising star at Scott Free, where she is part of the team working on the Daniel Espinosa-directed Child 44 with Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman, with production beginning June 10. She is an exec producer of that film and is working on the J. Blakeson-directed Wool, as well as the mammoth Moses movie Exodus at Fox and the Blade Runner sequel at Alcon Entertainment, both of which will be directed by Scott Free principal Ridley Scott. She joined Scott Free … Read More »

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Brad Ingelsby Lands High-Six Figure Indian Paintbrush Deal For ‘The Signal’

By | Thursday March 22, 2012 @ 10:10am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Indian Paintbrush has put the finishing strokes on a high-six figure preemptively acquire The Signal, a pitch by hot scribe Brad Ingelsby. The company is keeping the logline under wraps, but it is a contained family-adventure film that has a sci-fi element and is set over the course of a family’s weekend getaway. Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales and Mark Roybal will produce and Michael Pruss will be co-producer.

Ingelsby was a 27-year old AFI grad who was working for his father’s insurance business and living with his parents in Pennsylvania in 2008 when Relativity Media ended his sales career by paying him $650,000 against $1.1 million for The Low Dweller, a gritty revenge thriller that came with Ridley Scott attached to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio to star. It took a couple of years, but Ingelsby has become one of the hot writers in town, even if Scott and DiCaprio are now limited to being producers. That script, now retitled Out of the Furnace, has Crazy Heart‘s Scott Cooper attached to direct, with Christian Bale attached to play the lead role of Slim, a man released after serving years in prison for murder, and who only wants to follow through on his promise to marry his long-suffering girlfriend (Zoe Saldana). That’s until his brother (Casey Affleck) gets murdered after getting involved in a gambling racket, and it becomes all about revenge. Forest Whitaker is circling the role of a sleazy bookie, … Read More »

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‘Like Crazy’ Helmer Drake Doremus Sets Cast For Next Film

By | Friday July 22, 2011 @ 7:43am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Drake Doremus, who directed the Sundance sensation Like Crazy, has set Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan and Felicity Jones for his next film. Shooting on the untitled pic begins in a month and takes place in upstate New York. It’s about love, fidelity, marriage and music. Indian Paintbrush is fully financing. Jones made her breakthrough starring in Like Crazy, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Indian Paintbrush teamed with Paramount Pictures to acquire distribution rights on the picture, which will be released this fall.

Doremus wrote the script for the new film with Ben York Jones, his Like Crazy collaborator. The film will be produced by Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling of Super Crispy Entertainment, along with Steven Rales and Mark Roybal of Indian Paintbrush. Michael Pruss is co-producer. Doremus is repped by UTA, Pearce and Jones by CAA and Luber Roklin, while Ryan’s deal was made by Gersh.

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Steven Rales Staffs Indian Paintbrush

Mike Fleming

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.

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‘Dinner For Schmucks’ Scribes Step Up To Direct ‘Cruise Of The Gods’

By | Tuesday July 20, 2010 @ 7:15pm PDT
Mike Fleming

dinner_for_schmucksFocus Features will give Dinner For Schmucks scribes David Guion and Michael Handelman their shot at matching director’s chairs. The duo just got set to write and direct Cruise of the Gods, a remake of the 2002 BBC comedy about a fan cruise held in honor of The Children of Castor, a fictitious 1980s post apocalyptic sci-fi TV series. The cast is the guest of honor, but they’ve got mixed feelings, specifically dependent on whose career stalled with the series, and who went on to bigger and better things. The comedy’s being shepherded by Focus execs Michael Pruss and Kahli Small, and produced by Red Hour’s Stuart Cornfeld and Ben Stiller, with Jeremy Kramer exec producing with Baby Cow Productions’ Steve Coogan and Henry Normal. It’s got that showbiz-gone-very-wrong premise, which Stiller and Cornfeld milked for laffs in films like Tropic Thunder and Zoolander. Coogan, who appeared in the original BBC series as well as Tropic Thunder, might well play one of the cast members  aboard the cruise. Paramount releases the Jay Roach-directed Dinner For Schmucks on July 30, which Guion and Handelman adapted from the Francis Veber French film Le Diner de Cons.

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