EXCLUSIVE: Bandito Brothers, the production partnership that produced and financed the upcoming Navy SEAL action drama Act of Valor, will target underground racing for their next big film. Scott Waugh, who co-directed Act of Valor, will helm High Speed, a gritty, stylized car chase film that is being written by Greg Russo. Like Act of Valor, the film will be generated by The Bandito Brothers and produced by Bandito partners Waugh, Max Leitman and Jay Pollak. The story centers around the best high-speed police pursuit drivers in the country, assembled as a unit to stop and elusive, high-end underground racing circuit hellbent on running deadly point-to-point races through major American Cities.
Bandito Brothers is shaping up to be an intriguing operation. Like the Kurt Johnstad-scripted Act of Valor–an action adventure featuring real active duty Navy SEALs taking on terrorism–High Speed will be financed and entirely self-generated through Bandito Brothers. That is a full service content creation studio whose eight partners hatch, produce and finance immersive content ranging from features to documentaries and commercials and programming for TV and digital. Waugh directed Act of Valor with fellow Bandito Brother Mouse McCoy. They raised the $12 million budget and flew under the radar until they were ready to take the finished film to the marketplace. Relativity Media won a bidding battle and paid $13 million for distribution. If the picture becomes a hit, Bandito Brothers and their investors stand to make a fortune, as they own 50%. They intend to continue self-generating their films, helped by the 50,000 square foot facility they own in Culver City that includes post production, VFX and sound stages.
It isn’t clear yet if High Speed will be shopped for distribution before its production start, but the script should be ready by Cannes and they will likely shoot a demo reel to raise financing. Waugh is certainly adept at action as he is a former stuntman. Production on High Speed likely won’t start until 2013, because Waugh and McCoy have a summer start date on Black Sands, a film financed by QED that will star Arnold Schwarzenegger. ICM reps both the Bandito Brothers and Russo, who is rewriting Heatseekers for Paramount and Platinum Dunes, and whose action spec Autobahn fka I-95 has Mark Steven Johnson attached to direct. His spec Down has Marcel Langenegger directing for Relativity Media, which releases Act Of Valor on February 24.
Besides being populated by Navy SEALs in the starring roles, Act of Valor is getting an incredible amount of cooperation from the elite force. How many film premieres feature a phalanx of SEALs parachuting in front of the theater on Sunset Blvd? (video below).