ContentFilm has joined forces with Room 9 Entertainment, theNorth American production company launched by former PayPal chief operatingofficer David Sacks, to co-finance and co-produce two feature films that willbegin shooting in the coming months.

The films are the first announced productions withContentFilm's financing partner, Entertainment Investor, LLP.

The first film to go into production will be the big-screenadaptation of Thank You For Smoking,based on the novel by political satirist Christopher Buckley.

Sacks and Room 9 have been developing an adaptation of thenovel since acquiring the property from Warner Bros.

Commercials and short film director Jason Reitman wrote thescreenplay and will make the project his feature-directing debut. AaronEckhart (In The Company of Men, Erin Brockovich) will play the lead role. The companies are aiming for a startdate in the first quarter of 2005.

ContentFilm and Room 9 will also co-finance and co-producethe teen comedy Queen Lara, acontemporary re-working of King Learas a high school comedy of manners. The script by Nicholas Thurkettle wasoriginally purchased and developed by Room 9. Billed as a dark comedy inthe vein of Heathers, Cluelessand Mean Girls, the storyinvolves a tyrannical teen queen who gets her just desserts when she dividesher kingdom among her three henchmen.

Queen Lara will bedirected by Lev L. Spiro, known for his work on TV series The O.C. and Dawsons Creek. The companies are casting the film with an ensembleof teen stars for a summer start date.

ContentFilm's Edward R. Pressman and John Schmidt saidin a statement:

"We are very happy to be going into business with DavidSacks and Room 9. David's passion for these smart comedies and hisdetermination to produce them for a reasonable cost is directly in line withContentFilm's new business plan.