EXCLUSIVE: Scott Rudin Productions’ Scott Rudin and Eli Bush and Point Grey’s Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver have together set up a trio of feature collaborations. Two of the films are based on documentaries and will be made for Sony, where Rudin has his deal. All three will be produced by Rudin and Eli Bush along the the Point Grey trio.
Sony Pictures has just set 50/50 writer Will Reiser and that film’s director Jonathan Levine to craft a feature from Brooklyn Castle, based on the Katie Dellamaggiore-directed docu about the trials and tribulations of the junior unbeatable champion chess team at I.S. 318. That’s an inner-city junior high school where more than 65% of students come from homes with incomes below the federal poverty level and where budget cuts threaten to derail its chessboard dominance. The docu won the Audience Award at SXSW, and it was around the time that Rudin first acquired the remake rights. Rogen starred for Levine in the touching cancer scare drama/comedy 50/50, and he and Goldberg produced the film. Reiser’s repped by UTA and Thruline, Levine by CAA.
Rudin Productions and Point Grey have also set Console Wars at Sony, a film about the battle for video game dominance between Sega and Nintendo in the 1990s that Rogen and Goldberg are now writing to direct. It’s a narrative version based on a book and the documentary that has been two years in the works. Sony quietly acquired the project that Rudin and Point Grey were cooking up with Jonah Tulis and Blake J. Harris, the duo that is directed and is now in post production on a documentary on the subject. The narrative feature is a great role for a 40-ish actor to play former Mattel honcho Tom Kalinske. After being deposed by the toy giant, Kalinske was tracked down on a beach by Sega Japan head Hayao Nakayamo, whose vidgame brand was getting its clock cleaned along with everyone else by mighty video game maker Nintendo. In a span that began in 1990 and ran through 1995 Kalinske changed the balance of power. Fueled by techniques that included price cutting, an in-your-face ad campaign that included a trademark Sega scream, and a formidable vidgame character in Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega’s assault on Nintendo began with the latter dominating 90% of the marketplace. Within a few years, Sega cornered 55% of the business. The run ended when Japan took back the business reins and tried new hardware and lost its edge, with Kalinske heading for the exits. Harris turned the story into Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, And The Battle That Defined A Generation, a book that will be published by HarperCollins on May 13. The documentary is being produced by Rudin, Bush, and Julian Rosenberg. The directors are repped by CAA and Circle of Confusion.
Rudin and Bush are also teamed with Point Grey’s Rogen, Goldberg and Weaver to produce a feature with the Mail Order Comedy troupe that generates the Comedy Central series Workaholics. They haven’t yet set a distributor for the film, which is based on an original idea. Workaholics cast members Anders Holm, Adam DeVine and Blake Anderson will star and Holm is writing the script. Also producing is Isaac Horne, who manages the trio.