Max Minghella is set to make his directorial debut with Teen Spirit, an emotional underdog story set in the world of pop music that Mister Smith Entertainment is launching to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin next month.
Minghella, who has acted in such film as The Social Network and The Ides of March, writes and directs the project with La La Land producer Fred Berger producing alongside Brian Kavanaugh-Jones under their Automatik banner. Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell, who developed the screenplay with Minghella, serves as an exec producer.
Berger is bringing his musical team from La La Land to the project, including music producer Marius DeVries (Moulin Rouge) and music supervisor Steven Gizicki, previously of Lucasfilm. Cinematographer Autumn Durald will shoot the film. Interscope Records, which is handling the La La Land soundtrack, will co-produce with Automatik and will release the film’s official soundtrack.
Teen Spirit is described as a stylish spin on the Cinderella story. It follows Violet, a shy teenager living in Eastern Europe who dreams of pop stardom as an escape from her small town and shattered family life. With the help of an unlikely mentor, Violet enters an international singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition.
CAA is arranging financing for the film and reps North American rights.
Minghella made his screenwriting debut last year on the Miramax thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax, directed by Alexandre Aja, which he also produced via his company Blank Tape. He next stars in Hulu’s upcoming series The Handmaid’s Tale.
In addition to La La Land, which has been nominated for a record-tying 14 Academy Awards, Berger has also produced The Autopsy of Jane Doe and is in production on The Mountain Between Us, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba for Chernin Entertainment and Fox 2000. He’s also in pre-production on Reed Morano’s I Think We’re Alone Now, starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning.
David Garrett’s Mister Smith banner also will be selling Terrence Malik’s WWII pic Radegund out in Berlin this year.
Minghella is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.