EXCLUSIVE: Ken Kao was one of the new financiers who made a splash on the Croisette when he launched Bloom with former Exclusive Media exec Alex Walton and shopped international on several strong properties including Sea Of Trees with Gus Van Sant directing Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe. Under his other banner, Waypoint Entertainment (under which he set up Sea Of Trees), Kao has made a first-look deal with Russell Ackerman and John Schoenfelder and their newly formed Addictive Pictures.
Ackerman was Guillermo del Toro’s development executive for six years, and worked on such films as the horror pic Mama. He’s still working on projects with filmmakers that include the Neil Cross-scripted Midnight Delivery and the Rodrigo Cortes-directed Mine. Schoenfelder comes from the book world, where he was editorial director for the Little Brown imprint Mulholland Books and worked on projects from JJ Abrams, Warren Ellis, Charlie Huston, Scott Spencer, David Guggenheim, Derek Haas and Anthony Horowitz. He also oversaw the relaunch of Popcorn Fiction, a Haas-hatched website that featured writing from such screenwriters as Brian Helgeland, Rian Johnson, DB Weiss, Mark Bomback, Brian Koppelman and Scott Frank. Books Schoenfelder shepherded that were set up for films include Ellis’ Gun Machine, Guggenheim’s Weaponized and others.
Ackerman and Schoenfelder initially set up an arrangement at Anonymous Content, but their company officially gets underway with funding from Kao. They will begin setting up projects shortly. The intention is to hatch film and TV projects collaborating with novelists, comic creators and journalists.
Kao is in postproduction on Terrence Malick’s next two films: Knight Of Cups with Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett, and an untitled film with Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling and Blanchett. He is also an exec producer of the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence.