Navid McIllhargey, the former FilmEngine president is back with a new company — Vandal Entertainment — and he just optioned his first project under the new banner: a revenge thriller called The Feud. Financed by German investors Film House Germany and Summerstorm Entertainment, McIllhargey just purchased the spec by Matthew Altman and David Matalon (no, not the Matalon who used to head New Regency). Described as The Raid meets Winter’s Bone, the story follows a mysterious man who returns to his home in Iowa for his brother’s funeral when he finds himself head to head with the local crime boss and traps him and his friends in an abandoned farm complex. They must battle for their lives against impossible odds.
McIllhargey, who formerly worked at Silver Pictures and New Regency, expects to announce several more projects in both film and television shortly; he and his financiers plan to do two to three projects together a year. Outside of his current financing deal, Vandal’s first film Hunter’s Prayer (produced by Film Engine and A Full Clip) starts production November 10 and stars Sam Worthington and Odeya Rush. Jonathan Mostow is directing.
So who are his backers in Vandal Entertainment? Christian Angermayer’s Film House Germany AG is a Berlin-based media company which develops, finances and produces and co-produces English and German language films. Summerstorm Entertainment is a Film House subsidiary headed by Gabriela Bacher, a former Fox International Productions exec. The label was founded by director Marco Kauzpainter, whose film Coming In will be released by Warner Bros. Summerstorm is relatively new, having produced its first feature film with the Bernard Rose-directed Devil’s Violinist. Starring David Garrett and Jared Harris, the film will be released in January of 2015 in the U.S. Last month, another subsid Egoli Tossell’s Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) starring comedy/drama Hector And The Search For Happiness bowed in the U.S.
This deal with McIllhargey’s Vandal Entertainment is similar to the one struck with former Warner Bros.’ executive Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Pictures (Clash Of The Titans, Expendables, John Wick) earlier this summer.
“This is now a global business, more than it ever has been, and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Chritian and Gabriela,” said McIllhargey. “Domestic studios have left a lot of room for the types of movies I grew up watching and great characters translate into any language. The line between film and television is virtually gone. I am very excited to have The Feud as the first of many movies we will do together.
Bacher, who also recently joined the Film House board, added: “The Feud is a very good example for the kind of material we hope to develop and produce with Navid – elevated, character driven action that thrills but at the same time is grounded in a reality that allows the audience to truly connect.”
The Feud deal was repped by APA’s Chris Ridenhour and Parallax Talent Management’s Jim Wedaa for Altman and Paradigm’s Mark Ross for Matalon. This marks the first sale for Altman.