EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has made a deal with the YouTube prank crew The Janoskians to develop a feature film star vehicle for the group. The film label will try to harness a rabid online following and turn it into a movie ticket buyers. The Janoskians, who are born and bred on the Internet and provide a mix of the outrageous with some social commentary, have developed an enormous YouTube following since making their debut in 2011. Their fan base has grown to more than 15 million followers and 200 million views. They’ve spread their brand to include a sold-out worldwide Live Nation tour last year, a clothing line called Dirty Pig, a record deal with Republic Records, and a video game on iTunes/Android called Ouch! Couch. Their personal appearances in malls from Los Angeles to New York and London resulted in closings and evacuations because of crowd-control issues. Now, if all goes well, they will be movie stars.
The plan is to hatch a partially scripted comedy that will be packed with stunts, public pranks and wish fulfillment as the group adjusts to life in Los Angeles with the vow to throw the most epic party ever. Comedian Dan Ahdoot will write and Danny Lee (Road To Brooklyn) will direct, and the film will be produced by Awesomeness TV CEO and Smallville‘s Brian Robbins along with Jeremy Skaller, latter of whom manages the troupe. The film will carry a modest budget and, if it catches on, could be another Jackass, the TV show that has minted money for Paramount as a feature film. Lionsgate’s Erik Feig, Jina Jones and Nirokhi Raychaudhuri will oversee the pic.
Hatched out of Melbourne, the group consists of Beau Brooks, Jai Brooks, Luke Brooks, Daniel Sahyounie and James Yammouni. Said Beau: “In our wildest dreams we never thought we would end up working with a company like Lionsgate. They take risks, break rules and make epic movies. We can’t wait to take our pranks and jokes to the next level. We know we are lucky, and we will make the most of it, we promise you.”
CAA, SEG/Kamouflage and Management 360 rep The Janoskians. Director Lee is with CAA.
Here’s a video that conveys their popularity: