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Tom Heller, one of the executive producers of the Oscar-nominated film Foxcatcher, and producer-director Frank Hall Green have teamed up to launch production company Catch & Release Films.
The company begins with a bang, developing an adaptation of the best-selling Matthew Quick novel Boy21 with Lasse Hallstrom attached to direct. Nicholl Fellowship winner Andrew Lanham is writing the script.
In a culture that tends to favor tentpoles and genre movies, Heller and Green are swimming in the opposite direction. The duo plan to acquire rights to and develop literary material, articles and life rights for adaptation, as well as filmmaker-driven screenplays, and package the projects from the ground up.
Their goal is to make unique, thought-provoking but commercial films with both established and up-and-coming filmmakers, who, similar to the source material, have something to say.
The longtime friends will be based in New York and draw on a significant fund to develop and finance films.
Boy21, from the author of Silver Linings Playbook, which was adapted into the Oscar-winning hit that starred Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, centers on the unique friendship between two high school basketball players who have suffered significant tragedies in their lives. The boys’ unlikely friendship and one’s love for a special woman enable each of them to overcome the burdens of their past and embrace a different path for themselves.
The book is described as being gritty but heartwarming, and the story tackles themes of love, hope and redemption. The tone is akin to The Fault in Our Stars and Good Will Hunting.
Hallstrom’s coming on board takes the director back to the land of his earlier, more serious dramas such as The Cider House Rules and My Life as a Dog.
Heller has some impressive credits on his resume. He was an exec producer on Lee Daniels’ Precious, Danny Boyle’s Oscar-nominated 127 Hours, Tom McCarthy’s Win Win, and the Indie Spirit Award-winning Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey.
Most recently, Heller exec produced Foxcatcher, the drama which has five Oscar nominations. Heller discovered the source material for the story in 2004 and acquired life rights to Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz‘s story. Showing massive chutzpah, he next approached Capote filmmaker Bennett Miller, who was known for his affinity for true-crime dramas and eccentric characters, at a book signing with a packet of clippings, and the rest, as they say, became history.
Green is an indie producer who is coming off of helming his directorial debut, Wildlike. The movie was produced by Christine Vachon and her Killer Films as well as Tandem Pictures, and stars Ella Purnell, Bruce Greenwood and Brian Geraghty. He is also producing Remittance for writers/directors Joel Fendelman and Patrick Daly. Green recently produced the award-winning HBO one-man show John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown.
Hallstrom is represented by UTA and attorney David Nochimson. Lanham is repped by UTA.
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