EXCLUSIVE: DDI has acquired worldwide sales rights to comedy feature Ripped. The directorial debut of Brad Epstein, producer of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Dan in Real Life and About a Boy, the film stars Russell Peters (The Jungle Book, Chef), Faizon Love (Couples Retreat), Kyle Massey (That’s So Raven) and Alex Meneses (Telenovela). It’s based on an original screenplay by Epstein and Billiam Coronel about two free-spirited stoners in 1986 who, after smoking some top-secret pot created by the CIA, find themselves catapulted into 2016. With 30 years of their lives lost, the friends use their uncomplicated enthusiasm to get their lives back on track while figuring out a new modern world. Along with Epstein, producers are Ike Suri of Pelican Point Media and Suzanne Weinert. Exec producers are Jaclyn Ann Suri of Pelican Point and Steven Marmalstein (Chelsea Lately).
Principal photography has begun on Ghost Stories, a supernatural thriller co-written and directed by Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman, who are behind the Olivier-nominated original stage production. Nyman also leads the cast that includes Paul Whitehouse (Alice in Wonderland), Alex Lawther (Black Mirror) and Martin Freeman. Altitude is handling sales at the AFM this week with Lionsgate already set to distribute in the UK and Ireland. Nyman plays Professor Phillip Goodman, an arch-skeptic whose mentor Charles Cameron — the “original” TV parapsychologist — went missing 15 years before. Presumed dead, he is, it seems, still very much alive — and he needs Goodman to find a rational explanation for three stories that have shaken him to the core. As Goodman investigates, he meets three haunted people, each with a tale more frightening, uncanny and inexplicable than the last. The play broke records in the UK and has been seen by more than 500K theatergoers. Producers are Warp Films’ Claire Jones and Robin Gutch. Catalyst Global Media and Screen Yorkshire are backers.
Thorsten Schumacher’s Rocket Science will launch international sales on David Lowery’s crime caper The Old Man and the Gun at this week’s AFM. Robert Redford and Casey Affleck are starring for Endgame Entertainment and SPK Pictures, who are financing the project with Endgame’s James D Stern producing alongside Condé Nast’s Jeremy Steckler and Dawn Ostroff. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in Ohio in the spring on the story that’s based on a 2003 New Yorker article by David Grann. Forrest Tucker (Redford) is an outlaw with 18 successful prison breaks and a lifetime of bank robberies to his name. The screenplay, penned by Lowery, retraces Forrest’s twilight years, from his audacious escape from San Quentin at age 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounds authorities and enchants the public. Wrapped up in the chase are a detective (Affleck) who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft and a woman who loves him in spite of his chosen profession. WME and CAA are co-repping domestic.