BREAKING: In what will be one of the hot packages at the upcoming AFM, Inimitable Pictures and Mister Smith Entertainment are teaming for Imagine. Dan Fogelman will direct his script and Al Pacino, Jeremy Renner and Julianne Moore will star. Denise DiNovi, who teamed with Fogelman on Crazy, Stupid, Love, will produce alongside Jessie Nelson and Nimitt Mankad, and Shivani Rawat exec producing.
This is the script that Fogelman originally sold for $3 million to Warner Bros with Steve Carell attached. It will instead be funded independently by Inimitable Pictures’ Mankad and Rawat through a film fund backed by Manoj Bhargava, founder of the 5 Hour Energy drink. Principal photography will commence late April/early May 2013.
David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment will oversee international licensing and distribution for the film, starting at AFM. WME Global, which made the deal with the agreement with Mister Smith, will handle the domestic deal.
Pacino will play an aging 1970s rock star who is still packing arenas and living a decadent life with a girlfriend way too young for him. On his 64th birthday, he discovers an undelivered letter written to his 19-year-old self from his hero John Lennon. He decides to straighten out, stop making a living off by “selling out” and playing old anthems, and rediscover the music he originally set out to make. He also tries to reconnect with the 40-year-old son he’s never known (Renner). He moves into a small New Jersey hotel and befriends the hotel’s manager (Moore). The rocker’s hope: that despite the rough journey, Lennon’s message that love is all that matters will ring true at the end. This was always intended to be Fogelman’s directing debut. The scribe has scored some of the biggest script deals in recent years and his credits include the animated features Cars, Bolt and Tangled. His script Guilt Trip stars Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, and CBS Films is now shooting Last Vegas with Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas. He also created the new ABC sitcom The Neighbors, which stars Jami Gertz.
“Every writer has “that one project” … the one they feel so strongly about that they can’t bear to turn it over to anyone else,” Fogelman said. “For me, that project is Imagine. It was a career highlight simply to get a script of mine into Al Pacino’s hands. To have him read it, and then want to star in it… it’s five steps past career highlight. And now, to have Julianne Moore and Jeremy join the fray… it’s beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve been hiding in my house for the past few weeks… out of fear that someone would pinch me. We are going to make a very special film here.”
Said Garrett: “I am thrilled to be working with Nimitt and Shivani in their new financing venture. As for the film itself, one could not hope for a more perfect project. The screenplay is impeccable, which leaves one in no doubt about Dan Fogelman’s directorial vision. The producing team is second to none, and the cast is of a caliber one can only dream”.