EXCLUSIVE: Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne, the former New Line Cinema honchos who anted up big years ago to produce The Lord of The Rings trilogy, are paired on a new film with Shaye stepping behind the camera to direct. The mystery thriller Gifted — in which 60 Minutes reporter Steve Kroft’s son co-stars — marks the third feature-length film that Shaye has directed, following The Last Mimzy in 2007 and The Book of Love in 1990.
“I decided this is what I like to do best,” said Shaye, who also is producing Gifted. “I’ve done a lot of other things in the film business in the past, but I get a kick out of directing. I wanted to hone my craft. I found this story interesting.”
Lynne is producing the picture through his and Shaye’s production company Unique Features, while another New Line Cinema alum — former production executive Phillip Goldfine — is executive producing through his Hollywood Media Bridge.
In addition, the cast includes the John Kroft (son of Steve) and joins headliners Katherine Hughes and Giles Matthey along with Kyanna Simone Simpson, Dylan McNamara and Sonoya Mizuno.
As Shaye told Deadline from the Baton Rouge set where the film is shooting, it’s “about a young aspiring musician preparing for a competition and is incredibly confidant and gets herself involved in a frightening trap that she has to find her way out of. It raises the question: If an insane person is telling a story, is it real? The audience will have to decide.”
Other producers include Benjamin Sacks and Sarah Victor and exec producer Yuli Masinovsky. The writers are John Rocco and Jenna Wright with a current revision by Donald Winston Wylie.