EXCLUSIVE: Jules Daly, who spent 17 of her 28 years at RSA Films as president of the film, TV and commercials production company started by Ridley and Tony Scott, is transitioning into an independent producing deal with sister company Scott Free Productions. Daly launches her own banner, Big Red Films, with seven feature film projects.
RSA, which is approaching 50 years in business with tons of commercials including Scott’s famed 1984 Apple spot, will now be run by company veteran David Mitchell. Mitchell has produced high-profile commercials with Jake Scott and many other directors including Michael Mann, Jordan Scott, Terence Neale, Samuel Bayer, Chris Cunningham and Ridley and Tony Scott. He has been elevated to RSA managing director.
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While much of running RSA consisted of managing thousands of commercials shot by emerging director clients in locales all over the world, Daly also produced films that included the Joe Carnahan-directed The Grey, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and The A-Team. Her Big Red slate includes some of the relationships build on those commercials and films with the likes of Liam Neeson, who starred in The Grey and A-Team. She starts with the following projects:
Jungleland – Max Winkler is attached to direct Charlie Hunnam and Jack O’Connell in a drama that revolves around a reluctant barroom brawler and his brother who travel across the country for one last fight, but along the way their travel companion exposes the cracks in their bond. Daly will produce with Ridley Scott and Kevin Walsh for Scott Free and Brad Feinstein for Romulus Entertainment. Filming is scheduled for this summer.
Nemesis – Stephen Chin has adapted the Mark Millar graphic novel and Warner Bros will distribute. An Elon Musk-like idealistic tech inventor sees his world come crashing down when he is framed for his wife’s murder and discovers the deeply rooted, duplicitous power structure that courses through the most powerful country in the world. Amidst his anger and pain, he is recruited by the “Nemesis,” a masked vigilante who is determined to take down the corrupt system that has burned him in the same way. The producers are Daly, Ridley Scott for Scott Free and Sue Kroll for Kroll & Co. They are in talks with potential directors.
War Party – Drama is about a SEAL Team Six operative in a thriller that lifts the curtain and provides a wiseguy’s guided tour through Elite combat deployment, including the rush & the crashing hangover that occurs with each life and death mission. Producers are Daly, Ridley Scott and Kevin Walsh for Scott Free. Netflix will distribute.
Gold – Nathan Parker is adapting Chris Cleave’s book, and Daly and Scott Free are producing with Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple for Iron Ocean Productions. The logline: Kate Meadows is a world champion athlete whose eight-year-old daughter Sophie is battling a recurrence of childhood leukemia just as Kate is about to compete for her last chance at an Olympic gold medal. Can she balance her dream while doing the right thing for her daughter? They are in talks with potential directors.
Bootsie’s War—Liam Neeson hatched the story for a whimsical but topical premise. In early 1990s Baghdad, as tensions between America and Iraq are rising, 4 Irish plumbers are commissioned to construct the bathroom in Saddam Hussein’s bunker. Neeson and Daly will produce.
Lost Children of Tuam – Daly and Neeson are producing an adaptation of the Dan Barry New York Times article.
Governess – Hanna scribe Seth Lochead is writing the script, and Daly will co-produce with Brad Fuller, Matthew Cohan and Michael Bay for Bay Films. The project is set up at Warner Bros.
Daly told Deadline that her new nickname comes from the endearing term that the late Tony Scott always called her. Among her RSA highlights:
“I loved doing the BMW films, like the one Tony did, Beat tThe Devil, with Gary Oldman, James Brown and Clive Owen,” she said. “Those 10-minute spots were so much fun, and literally were the beginning of branded content. We did a bunch, with Joe Carnahan, Tony and John Woo, and Anonymous did them too. What this is about is, I got to learn from the best. Besides Tony and Ridley, I have worked with Kathryn Bigelow, with Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, and got to discover Neil Blomkamp and put him on a Nike or Adidas commercial when he had maybe three spots on his reel when we signed him, and Carl Rinsch, who sent me his reel in a brown paper bag when he was graduating from Brown. I got to work with all these talented filmmakers in their infancy, and now I hope to be able to work with them on movies. And working with the different generations of the Scott family is what really stands out, and now I get to continue with Ridley in this different capacity.”
After a long tenure being at the beck and call of the Scotts, whether it was to oversee an elaborate commercial shoot or produce a feature, or jump on a plane at a moment’s notice to solve a problem when Ridley or Tony Scott needed it, Daly said she felt it was time to focus on her feature ambitions.
“It’s been amazing to have been part of RSA for so many years, and to work across so many different facets of advertising and entertainment with some of the most outstanding talent in the world,” Daly said. “I couldn’t be more excited to focus on making films, something I’ve always been passionate about, and to continue working alongside Scott Free.”
Said Ridley Scott: “We are very grateful to Jules for the 28 years of dedication and guidance she has given RSA. The formidable skill set she brought to RSA will serve her well as she starts this next chapter as a film producer at Big Red.”
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