Macauley Culkin is in final negotiations to star as Michael Alig in Party Monster, the movie about the notorious murdering New York party promoter that is being produced by Killer Films and sold internationally by Fortissimo Film Sales. Ed Pressman and JohnSchmidt's ContentFilm has also come on board as co-financier and will handle North American rights.
Seth Green willplay Alig's best friend James St James in the film which is to be directed byaward-winning documentary film-makers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. Shootingis set to start in New York in mid-April.
Alig was theyoung promoter who helped reinvent New York nightlife in the early 1990s,creating the world of club kids and at his height running his own record labeland magazine. When he boasted on TV that he had killed his drug dealer, hisfriends and the press thought it was a joke, until a body washed up in NewYork's East River and his world began to unravel.
The film isbased on the book Disco Blood Bath by James St James. Killer''s Christine Vachon, JonMarcus and Bradford Simpson will produce along with Bailey and Barbato'scompany World of Wonder. John Wells will executive produce for Killer.Content's east coast head of production Sofia Sondervan will executive producealongside Pressman and Schmidt. Michael J Werner and Wouter Barendrecht of Fortissimo will also executive produce.
Vachon says thisis the first time she has worked with Pressman - the two rank as two of NewYork's leading indie standard-bearers. 'We'd been trying to get itmade for some time,' said Vachon yesterday, 'and we sent it to Sofiaat ContentFilm and found out that she had been following it as well. It's agreat story about the commodity of celebrity and captures an amazing moment intime.'
Bailey andBarbato had been filming the club kids for several years before they discoveredthe story on which the film is based. 'It was a visually rich, excessivescene but we want to stress that these were also real people with realrelationships and the same vulnerabilities as everyone else,' said Bailey.He said that he and Barbato had visited Alig in prison and exchanged letters.
'It's terrific that Macauley andSeth are going to star in the film. These are very unconventional roles and ittakes a fair amount of risk to play them,' he added. Culkin is representedby UTA and his deal is being negotiated by Ken Weinrib of Franklin, Weinrib,Rudell and Vasallo.
Paul Brennan ofSloss Law negotiated the deal on behalf of Killer with ContentFilm Head ofBusiness Affairs Michael Roban. Howard Frumes negotiated on behalf ofFortissimo.
The film marksthe first collaboration between Killer Films and Fortissimo Film Sales as well. 'It shows once again that Killer is able to come up with surprises by giving unexpected roles to well-known actors and directors,' said Barendrecht and Werner. 'That surprise factor makes it more exciting and that's what Fortissimo is looking for as well.' Killer is currently in post-production on Far From Heaven which USA Films is handling domesticallyand TF1 International is selling internationally. Todd Solondz's Storytelling is currently on release through FineLine (GMI has international) with One Hour Photo, The Safety Of Objects and The Grey Zone set for release later this year throughFox Searchlight, IFC Films and Lions Gate Films respectively.
ContentFilm wasformed in Sept 2001 to focus on the financing, production and distribution ofprincipally digitally produced films. It has just greenlit its first twoproductions The Coolerwith William H Macy and The Hebrew Hammer with Adam Goldberg, and recently bought a minority stake inJason Kliot and Joana Vicente's Blow Up Pictures.