Hot on the heels of hiscritically acclaimed Sundance Film Festival prize-winner All The Real Girls, hot US director David Gordon Green has set his nextfilm Undertow at Edward Pressman and John Schmidt's ContentFilm with DermotMulroney, Josh Lucas and Jamie Bell in the lead roles.
The project has been indevelopment for over four years at Sunflower Productions, the company Pressmanformed with Terrence Malick. The film will be produced by Gordon Green'scollaborator Lisa Muskat with Pressman and Malick, with Schmidt and AlessandroCamon of Content as executive producers.
Gordon Green and Joe Conwaywrote the script to Undertow which is the story of a working father (Mulroney)of two boys whose family life is thrown into chaos by the unexpected arrival ofhis bad seed brother (Lucas). Bell, whose three films to date Billy Elliot,Deathwatch and Nicholas Nickleby have all been UK pictures, makes his US debut in thefilm as the older of the two boys who flees the home with his young brother intow. Like Gordon Green's George Washington and All The Real Girls, Undertow is set in the contemporary south.
Gordon Green was introducedto Pressman through his attorney Jim Janowitz, a partner at Pryor, Cashman,Sherman And Flynn. Janowitz's son William, who attended North Carolina Schoolof the Arts with Green, had a small role in George Washington and Pressman wasthe first person to see the film in the US after its world premiere at the 2000Berlin Film Festival. Janowitz represents Gordon Green and Muskat and - with PhyllisKaufman - is production counsel on Undertow.
Green is also represented byRobert Newman of ICM and Lindsay Williams of The Gotham Group. SunflowerProductions' vice president of business and legal affairs Jon Katz, along withContentFilm's head of business affairs Michael Roban, negotiated the deal withGreen's representatives and with those of the actors. Mulroney and Lucas arealso ICM clients, while Bell is represented by Endeavor and Artists IndependentNetwork. Roban also oversaw the transfer of rights to the project fromSunflower to ContentFilm.
The new film will go intoproduction in and around Savannah, Georgia in April. The filmmakers planto hold open casting sessions for the role of the younger brother in Savannahand New York in the coming weeks.
ContentFilm, whose creditsinclude The Guys, Party Monsterand The Cooler, will be sellingrights to the film at AFM through its international arm Content Internationalrun by Jamie Carmichael. Also on the Content slate at the market are ErnestDickerson's Never Say Diestarring DMX and David Arquette; psychological thriller Love Object written and directed by Robert Parigi, Hans andPeter Moland's Beautiful Countryfrom Sunflower which stars Nick Nolte, Tim Roth, Temeura Morrison, Bai Ling andDamien Nguyen and has just completed principal photography. Fortissimo FilmSales is representing Party Monster.