EXCLUSIVE: Steven Rales’ Indian Paintbrush has made a two-year first-look deal with Jeremy Renner and writer-director Don Handfield, partners in the upstart production company The Combine. The financier/producer has deals with its Moonrise Kingdom helmer Wes Anderson and also with Jason Reitman, who is about to start Labor Day for Indian Paintbrush. This marks its first overall deal with an actor-producer.
The deal comes at a time when Renner is soaring. After successive Oscar nominations for The Hurt Locker and The Town, he starred alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible –Ghost Protocol and played Hawkeye in The Avengers. Renner next stars in The Bourne Legacy, which Universal releases in August. Despite his growing bankability, the focus of the deal is to utilize Renner as producer and not necessarily as an actor. Indian Paintbrush’s Rales and Mark Roybal met with Renner and his partner and were impressed by their strong business plan and creative aspirations. They’ve already fixed on the first project, but were keeping it under wraps for the moment. It is likely their sensibility will be closer to The Hurt Locker than The Avengers.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘The Bourne Legacy’ With Jeremy Renner 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.
Dealmakers who came into Park City hoping to recapture the acquisitions momentum of last fall’s Toronto Film Festival returned this week with smiles on their faces. And why not? By my count, 38 transactions have been completed on Sundance films so far, with several more coming. Buyers estimate that at least eight of those deals brought a minimum guarantee of $2 million or higher: The Details and My Idiot Brother to The Weinstein Company, Like Crazy to Paramount/Indian Paintbrush, Margin Call to Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, Another Earth to Fox Searchlight, Silent House to Liddell Entertainment, Homework to Fox Searchlight, and The Devil’s Double to Lionsgate and Herrick Entertainment.
Nobody could be accused of the drunken spending that occasionally happened in past Sundance Festivals. But considering the shellacking the indie business has taken over the past several years, there were intriguing team-ups and bold plays all over the place. Like when Sony Pictures Classics acquired the Michael Shannon-in-meltdown-mode Take Shelter, sight unseen, and the SPC team strutted when the film played to glowing reviews; when Steven Rales’ Indian Paintbrush became the surprise catalyst in the $4 million deal to acquire festival favorite Like Crazy, or when Ron Burkle partnered with Harvey Weinstein in the $7.5 million guarantee/$10 million P&A acquisition of the Tobey Maguire black comedy The Details; when Focus Features bought Dee Rees’s much discussed directing debut Pariah, and made her next … Read More »
UPDATE, 8:25 AM: As I tipped you yesterday, Paramount’s Adam Goodman and acquisitions exec Matt Brodie and Indian Paintbrush’s Peter McPartlin closed the deal with the UTA team today around 6 AM for the Super Crispy Entertainment production Like Crazy about young love from co-writer and director Drake Doremus (Douchebag). I’m told it was a $4 million minimum guarantee and a “substantial” 7-figure P&A commitment. Adam Goodman, President of Paramount’s Film Group, and Matt Brodlie, SVP of Productions and Acquisitions for Paramount, along with Indian Paintbrush’s President of Production Mark Roybal, negotiated for the rights with the film’s reps Rich Klubeck and David Flynn from UTA, along with producer Jonathan Schwartz and Doremus’ attorney Lawrence Kopeikin from Morris Yorn. Later Goodman said in a statement, “Along with our partners at Indian Paintbrush, we are extremely pleased to be a part of such a great movie, and look forward to working with Drake, Jonathan, Andrea and a tremendous cast of actors.” Starring Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence, Like Crazy was written by Doremus and Ben York Jones about a British college student who falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.
EXCLUSIVE 3:09 AM: Into the wee hours of Sunday, the 2011 Sundance Film Festival was inching close to its first big deal. I’m … Read More »
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 »