EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films has stepped up to finance and produce with Protozoa Pictures 478, the drama that Arnold Schwarzenegger will star in and Elliott Lester will direct from a script by Javier Guillon. The film is produced by Protozoa’s Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin and Eric Watson, EFOF CEOs Randall Emmett and George Furla, and Peter Dealbert.
The Highland Film Group is handling international sales and this is expected to be a hot title on the opening day of AFM. Lionsgate Premiere will release the film domestically as part of the ongoing multi‐picture distribution deal with EFOF.
Schwarzenegger has eyed the project seriously for months, and the script drew fans for its dark storyline and characters. In 478, Schwarzenegger plays a man whose wife and child die in a plane crash. The tragedy was caused by an air traffic controller’s screw-up. The air traffic controller is vilified for his mistake and placed into protective custody. Schwarzenegger’s character cannot let it go, and is determined to seek vengeance. It’s more sophisticated than an average revenge film, and gives Schwarzenegger a chance to show the chops he displayed on Maggie.
Guillon is the Spanish writer best known for the Denis Villenueve-directed Enemy, an adaptation of the Jose Saramago classic novel The Double that Jake Gyllenhaal starred in. Guillon also scripted the Goya-nominated script Invader. Lester directed the Emmy-nominated HBO film Nightingale with David Oyelowo.
The film is set for a mid-December production stars in Ohio.
The executive producers include Ari Handel and Josh Stern of Protozoa Pictures, Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb of Lionsgate. Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones of The Fyzz Facility are co-financing and will also serve as executive producers.
Schwarzenegger last starred in Terminator Genysis, an offshore hit with $450 million global gross.
Aronofsky, Franklin, Schwarzenegger and Guillon are represented by CAA and Schwarzenegger is also represented by attorneys Jake Bloom and Patrick Knapp. Lester is repped by WME and Plattform and Emmett by WME. EFO is in post-production on the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence and just extended a partnership with Lionsgate Premiere for another five pictures. Its Robert De Niro thriller Heist and Bruce Willis-starrer Extraction premiere later this month and an adaptation of David Mamet’s Speed The Plow and Gotti with John Travolta are set for 2016 production starts.