EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-Award winning producer and director Daniel Minahan and Oscar winning producer Peter Spears are teaming with Ley Line Entertainment to develop the feature film On Swift Horses based on the Shannon Pufahl novel of the same name.
On Swift Horses follows Muriel and her husband Lee who are beginning a bright new life when he returns from the Korean war. However, this newfound stability is upended by the arrival of Lee’s charismatic younger brother, Julius, a wayward gambler with a secret past. A dangerous love triangle is quickly formed. When Julius then takes off in search of the young card cheat he’s fallen for, restless Muriel embarks on a secret life of her own, gambling on racehorses and discovering a love she never thought possible.
Minahan will direct off Bryce Kass’ adapted screenplay. Minahan and Spears will produce the project, joined by Ley Line’s Tim Headington (The Green Knight, Never Rarely Sometimes Always). Ley Line’s Theresa Steele Page (Miss Juneteenth, The Green Knight) and Nate Kamiya (Miss Juneteenth, Strawberry Mansion) will serve as EP.
Kass is the screenwriter of Lizzie, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, starring Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart and was released by Roadside Attractions. He is currently writing the film Alone for HBO/Max with Laura Bickford producing, based on Leslie Kean’s best-selling non-fiction book UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record, and is also at work on a five-episode limited series with Gus Van Sant who is set to direct. He recently completed writing an updated Saturday Night Fever feature for Daft Punk. Other screenplays by Kass include Dark Star for director Scott Cooper and Oscar-winning producer John Lesher, The Real All Americans for producers Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Fred Berger and two for George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures: Pioneer and Monster of Florence. His television project Lights, is set up at Working Title/ Universal TV with Andrew Stearn producing.
Minahan most recently directed and executive produced the entirety of Netflix’s limited series Halston. He made his feature directorial debut with Series 7: The Contenders, which screened in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and in the Panorama at the Berlin Film Festival. For his work on the film Minahan was nominated for the Gotham Award’s Open Palm Award for Outstanding Directorial Debut and the film won the Audience Award at the Sweden Fantastic Film Festival. On the television side, Minahan won an Emmy Award as an EP of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace for which he also directed several episodes. He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for directing and executive producing Deadwood: The Movie and has directed multiple episodes of Game of Thrones, True Blood, Six Feet Under and The Newsroom.
Spears won Best Picture at the Oscars for Nomadland back in April. The Searchlight pic also won Academy Awards for director Chloé Zhao and star Frances McDormand and won the Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, BAFTA, PGA and Independent Spirit Award for Best Picture. Spears produced Luca Guadagnino’s film Call Me By Your Name, for which he was also nominated for the Oscar in 2017. He is currently in production on Bones and All, reuniting with Guadagnino and star Timothée Chalamet.
Ley Line Entertainment is a content development, production, and financing company with projects spanning film, television, stage, and music. Highlights include a documentary on Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, Long Promised Road which premiered at Tribeca; David Lowery’s upcoming The Green Knight; Everything Everywhere All At Once from The Daniels; the original West End musical & Juliet (featuring the international megahits of Max Martin and writer David West Read (Schitt’s Creek); Miss Juneteenth - a TV series (and the original film) from Channing Godfrey Peoples; and Sundance’s Strawberry Mansion from Albert Birney and Kentucky Audley.
Minahan is represented by UTA and Circle of Confusion. Kass is repped by Circle of Confusion. Pufahl is repped by UTA.