EXCLUSIVE: The first film that former Relativity Studios president Tucker Tooley is co-financing since forming monied production shingle Tooley Productions is 6 Below, a fact-based modern prodigal son survival thriller that Scott Waugh will direct with 30 Days Of Night‘s Josh Hartnett playing former Olympic hockey player Eric LeMarque. Production begins in Utah in March.
The athlete, who played for the Northern Michigan University hockey team and on the French team in the 1994 Olympics, got lost snowboarding in a massive storm. He survived eight days with nothing but his wits to sustain him, and he did it while simultaneously coming to terms with a drug addiction, and selfish and destructive behavior that left him stranded in the frozen tundra. He paid a high personal price reminiscent of 127 Hours, but stayed alive long enough for the National Guard to hone in on his MP3 player and rescue him before he froze to death. The plan is for 6 Below to be one of the first films to be released in select theaters in partnership with Barco’s immersive new Escape panoramic movie format.
The script is by Madison Turner, a stuntman who became Waugh’s assistant and eventually convinced the director to let him write the script.
Tooley has invested equity in the film along with Sonar Entertainment, and Tooley and Sonar’s Tom Lesinski jointly negotiated the deal in the first of several planned films on which the companies will partner. Tooley and Lesinski will produce the film with Waugh, Rockpile Studios’ Simon Swart, and Brad Pilz. Tooley reunites with Waugh, a co-founder of Bandito Brothers; they previously worked together on the 2012 hit Act Of Valor.
UTA reps Hartnett and Waugh, and UTA Independent Film Group arranged the financing and packaged the project. Hartnett is also repped by Management 360. Turner is repped by Grandview.