EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Parasite distributor Neon has come out on top for North American rights to Ryan Gosling package The Actor, the next movie from Anomalisa director Duke Johnson. We hear the pre-buy is in the mid seven-figure range.
Oscar-nominee Gosling will play actor Paul Cole who becomes stranded in 1950s Ohio after a brutal attack. Suffering from severe memory loss, he struggles to find his way back to his life in New York and reclaim what he has lost.
The hot virtual EFM project is based on the best-selling noir novel Memory by Donald E. Westlake. Johnson penned the script alongside Stephen Cooney. Johnson’s Anomalisa collaborator Charlie Kaufman has newly boarded as executive producer.
Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for Neon with CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content, who are co-repping U.S. rights. Endeavor Content is handling international sales.
La La Land and First Man star Gosling is producing the feature — which sounds close in tone to the star’s crime-drama hit Drive — alongside Waypoint Entertainment’s Ken Kao. Duke Johnson will produce with Abigail Spencer under their Innerlight Films production banner. Paul Young is producing through his company, Make Good.
Parasite distributor Neon has increasingly been looking to pick up high-profile indie packages at early stage, as they did with Pablo Larrain’s Kristen Stewart starrer Spencer.