EXCLUSIVE: Producer Matt Kaplan’s Ace Entertainment has acquired life rights to the true story of a 12-year old who tricks his family, steals his mom’s credit card and runs away to Bali for the trip of a lifetime. The project, which Paranormal Activity 3 & 4 directors Henry Joost and Rel Schulman are attached to direct, is described as Home Alone meets Catch Me If You Can.
Brendan O’Brien is writing the screenplay. The story about the Sydney, Australia boy went viral last year and was covered by The Guardian, The Independent and The Washington Post. Reports protected his real identity, using the pseudonym Drew in their write-ups.
The untitled project is set up at Paramount Players where Kaplan and ACE Entertainment have a first look deal. Kaplan will produce alongside Joost and Schulman who will produce through their shingle Supermarché. O’Brien will executive produce.
Joost and Schulman directed the hit documentary, Catfish and Lionsgate’s 2016 thriller Nerve starring Dave Franco and Emma Roberts. The duo recently wrapped an untitled upcoming film for Netflix starring Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Joost and Schulman are repped by CAA and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark.
O’Brien is known for co-writing and executive producing the hit films Neighbors starring Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, Neighbors 2, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates starring Zac Efron and Adam Devine and The House staring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler. He is repped by UTA and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.
Max Siemers and Robyn Marshall will oversee the project for ACE Entertainment. Orlee-Rose Strauss will oversee for Supermarché.
ACE Entertainment has been behind such Netflix pics as To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and its upcoming sequel, The Perfect Date also starring Noah Centineo, the romantic drama Irreplaceable You and Spontaneous starring Katherine Langford. It was announced last month that ACE is developing the YA features 10 Blind Dates based on the novel by Ashley Elston and Replica, based on the Lauren Oliver’s best-selling novel of the same name. Both projects are expected to go into production early next year. ACE Entertainment is also producing the upcoming Are You Afraid of the Dark television reboot based on the 1990’s Nickelodeon series which is currently in production.
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