The co-financing deal, struck with Stuart Ford‘s IM Global, was announced at the Berlin Film Festival, where IM Global is handling the film internationally. Foreign buyers already investing in the biopic, set to start shooting later this year, are sure to be pleased that a domestic distributor is on board (IM Global first launched the project to international distributors in November at the American Film Market).
Man Who Made It Snow is the first title from Fuqua’s overall deal with IM Global. Gyllenhaal is also a producer on the film, in which he’ll star as the late Max Mermelstein, purported to be the only American who was in the inner circle of the Colombian cartels in the go-go 1980s. Brett Tabor and Michael Kingston‘s screenplay is based on Mermelstein’s best-selling autobiography.
Fuqua and Gyllenhaal are no strangers to each other, and are currently in postproduction on boxing drama Southpaw. TWC likewise has U.S. rights to Southpaw, which opens in theaters July 31.
“I am thrilled to bring this compelling and true story to the screen with Jake, one of the most talented and transformative actors I have ever had the pleasure to work with,” Fuqua said in a statement.
Added Weinstein, “It’s also of course a thrill to be partnering yet again with the immensely talented Antoine and with Jake, an actor who time and time again wows us with his fearlessness.”
Mermelstein was the point man in America for the Medellin cartel, helping smuggle tons of cocaine in the 1980s. He was eventually arrested and became a key informant and witness for the U.S. government, and spent his last years living in the Witness Protection Program. He died in 2008 and his eulogy was given by Tabor, who became interested in the man as potential movie material and tracked him down.
“Harvey and his team are the perfect partners for Antoine, Jake and myself on this incredible true story that has tremendous critical and commercial potential,” Ford said.
The deal was negotiated by David Glasser and Michal Steinberg for TWC and by Ford and general counsel Deborah Zipser on behalf of IM Global. CAA brokered the deal on behalf of Fuqua Films and IM Global.