EXCLUSIVE: Demian Gregory and James Franco have partnered to produce four feature films with budgets in the $15 million-$20 million range. The first title under the deal is The Game, based on the bestselling book — part memoir, part how-to guide — by Neil Strauss about how to become a successful pick-up artist. Franco will star as Mystery, a man who serves as Strauss’ “wingman” in the book. The New York Times bestseller is enjoying its 11th year in print this month.
Gregory will produce The Game alongside Franco and his business partner Vince Jolivette (Spring Breakers); executive producers are Nicholas Cafritz and Robert Reed Peterson.
Under terms of the new deal, Gregory will produce and finance these films through his Aristocracy Group and his Composite Media Capital in partnership with Franco’s outfit Rabbit Bandini Productions. The titles in the production slate comprise talent-driven stories, ranging from comedy to thriller and high-end drama.
“Nearly every person I meet has a strong opinion on The Game, whether they’ve read it or not,” said Strauss, the author of seven other bestselling books including The Truth, Emergency and The Dirt. “For some, it changed their lives and led to marriage and children. For others, it is the one of the most terrifying things to ever happen to the dating world. For me, it is both, but I’m forever grateful for my time in the underground world of pick-up artists because it showed me that a guy who had given up all hope of ever being comfortable with himself and others could change.”
The film has been fast-tracked and is scheduled to enter production in 2017, with the producers looking to attach a director and cast.
Aristocracy Group is a consortium of vertically integrated media companies specializing in production and financing of filmed entertainment privately held by Gregory. Composite Media Capital is a U.S.-based film finance outfit launched by Gregory, Cafritz and Peterson.
Strauss is also a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, was a correspondent at The New York Times for 10 years and has writing credits ranging from TV shows for HBO to liner notes for Nirvana.