Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein of Storyscape Entertainment have partnered up with Pioneer Pictures’ Robert Kravis and Karl Herrmann to make the action-thriller Champion, set in the dangerous, lucrative and somewhat misunderstood world of Thai prison fighting. Tyler Mitchell developed the project while working alongside Cooper at Landscape Entertainment and will be producing. The script is by Gary Scott Thompson, co-writer of The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious.
Dating back to the 1767 Sino-Burmese War when Thai prisoners of war were, according to legend, granted release after demonstrating great skill in organized fights against their captors, the modern scene offers inmates with lengthy prison terms the chance to earn money, and occasionally, reduced sentences by going toe to toe against international professional Muay Thai fighters. Champion will follow an American prisoner abroad who must navigate that system and learn Muay Thai in order to earn his freedom.
Storyscape Entertainment has a first-look feature deal with Broad Green Pictures as well as a number of projects in development at other studios. Among them, FBI Wedding at Universal directed by and starring Jason Bateman, the Colin Trevorrow-produced Stealing Time at Dreamworks, and StudioCanal’s The War Magician, produced by and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Richard Saperstein recently began pre-production on the horror film remake The Blob, while Bob Cooper is in post-production on Maudie, starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins.
Pioneer Pictures, Kravis and Herrmann, are also producing the John D. Rockefeller biopic Titan, based on Ron Chernow’s best-selling biography.