EXCLUSIVE: LD Entertainment, which is in the Oscar mix with the tersely titled Jackie, has apparently grown more title ambitious. LD won a spec battle for a Ben Bolea spec script that has the longest title I can remember. The Miserable Adventures of Burt Squire Aboard the Horn High Yo is fact-based, and follows a family man in the midst of a midlife crisis who embarks on what he hoped would be a dream sailing vacation. He ended up shipwrecked in the Atlantic Ocean with a charming but unhinged sea captain who was off his meds. WME repped Bolea in a deal worth mid six figures. LD Entertainment will fully finance the pictures, and Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon and Jennifer Monroe will produce with Kim Zubick.
“Ben’s script is riveting,” Liddell said. “This story is incredibly funny and smart, reminding me of classic 1980s buddy comedies like Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Midnight Run. I haven’t been this excited about a new voice since we bought Go by John August in the early 1990s. These are two of the best written roles for actors I’ve seen in years and we plan to go to directors and cast immediately so we can shoot this movie in 2017.” Aside from the Pablo Larrain-directed Jackie, which Fox Searchlight will release December 2 after acquiring it in Toronto, LD most recently backed the Kevin Reynolds-directed Sony release Risen with Joseph Fiennes, and the Sean Ellis-directed WWII thriller Anthropoid with Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan, which Bleecker Street released. Next up is the Niki Caro-directed The Zookeeper’s Wife with Jessica Chastain that Focus Features release next spring, the Gabriela Cowperthwaite-directed Kate Mara starrer Megan Leavey, and the David M. Rosenthal-directed remake of Jacob’s Ladder with Michael Ealy. LD is repped by attorney Eric W. Thompson. Aside from WME, Bolea is repped by attorney David Matlof and manager Jeff Portnoy at Bellevue Productions.