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Four star athletes, some already part of the burgeoning ranks of sports players in the film and television world, have come together to make up part of an all-star producing roster.
NFL quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, NBA all-star guard Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, retired NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks and retired NBA all-star Michael Finley have joined Argent Pictures as partners.
The Los Angeles-based film production and financing outfit is run by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens and Ben Renzo and was involved in the making of Tom Cruise’s American Made, Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge and the Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
The quartet of athletes will help develop, finance and produce films with the Argent founders, although specific details were not forthcoming in Thursday’s announcement. Argent’s plan includes developing, financing and producing three to six projects a year.
The athletes had worked separately on Argent projects before the idea came to merge them into a super-team.
“Having worked with Mike, Drew, Tony and Derrick for many years on their entertainment endeavors, not only have they become good friends but our collective experience in the entertainment industry has been very rewarding and successful,” said Argent CEO Ben Renzo. “We felt strongly that uniting as a formalized team under Argent would provide us greater reach to source and attract the best stories and storytellers, and enhance our ability to efficiently develop, finance and produce more films than ever before.”
“What attracted me to Argent is that it is a company that puts material first and will develop and explore original and unique themes and subject matters that can be fully exploited,” said Brooks, who via his production company Hit 55 Ventures made his film-financing debut with Birth of a Nation. “We have collectively developed a solid business strategy encompassing a diverse portfolio of projects, which I am very excited to help get off the ground and shepherd.”
Said Brees, the 2009 Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback who also was a producer on Hacksaw Ridge: “For me, being in the film business is about being able to tell stories and having a viable vehicle to do so. We are all inspired by stories with motivating messages yet are highly entertaining. Within Argent, we have, by design, an expansive and efficient network through which we can identify and pursue the best projects and material and collaborate with any filmmakers around the globe to build a diverse slate.”
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