EXCLUSIVE: Ronald De Feo’s dark comedy Solo Pass has been optioned by The Gotham Group and Steve Buscemi’s Olive Productions for the star to direct. The novel is about a mental patient confined to the psychiatric ward of a city hospital after suffering a breakdown. Granted a one day “solo pass” to leave the facility, he begins to confront the experiences and fears that led to his breakdown. The book was published by Other Press in 2013.
The project will be produced by Gotham’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman along with Olive’s principals Buscemi and Wren Arthur. The Gotham Group has had great success adapting literary material for the big screen. They produced the 2014 worldwide box office hit The Maze Runner, based on the popular YA book of the same name. The film, which was released by 20th Century Fox, has hauled in $340.7M worldwide. They are currently in post the second film in the franchise for the studio, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, which will be released on September 18th.
They’ve also produced the Anthony Hopkins starring drama/thriller Go With Me, based on the 2008 novel of the same name by Castle Freeman. The film, which also stars Julia Stiles and Ray Liotta, was directed by Daniel Alfredson. UTA is helping to set up domestic distribution.
Buscemi is not only an Emmy nominated directed but he has also directed other features over the years after making his directorial debut with Trees Lounge. He most recently helmed the 2007 remake of Theo Van Gogh’s Interview, in which he also starred opposite Sienna Miller. He has also just signed to direct an episode of Judd Apatow’s new series Love for Netflix
He has worked in both comedy and drama including, having directed for The Sopranos, Portlandia, Oz, 30 Rock, and Nurse Jackie. The actor also is in season 2 of his production company’s talking series Park Bench for AOL (premiering this summer). He also starred in celebrated mob series Boardwalk Empire for which he won an Emmy.
Olive has just completed production on the second season of their Emmy-nominated series Park Bench (which he also hosts), and is currently in post-production on Amber Tamblyn’s independent feature and directorial debut, Paint it Blank which is an adaptation of Janet Finch’s novel about the punk rock scene in 1980s Los Angeles.
In addition to Solo Pass, author DeFeo has written the novels Calling Mr. King and the e-book original House of Monsters, based on the Fred and Rose West serial murder case. In addition, he has published At the Margins, which is a collection of literary essays focusing on forgotten or unappreciated books.
DeFeo is represented by Noah Lukeman of Lukeman Literary Management LTD. The Gotham Group is represented by CAA and attorney George Davis. Steve Buscemi and Olive productions are represented by WME and Gotham/Principal.