TIFF: Ridley Scott Launches New Genre Label

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Ridley Scott

The Olatunde Osunsanmi-directed film also marks the first project from Verve Ventures, the new packaging, finance and sales division of talent and literary agency Verve.

Ridley Scott is launching a new genre label through his Scott Free Productions.

Dubbed Ridley Scott Presents …, the division has set the thriller The Twisted as its first project. The film also marks the first project from Verve Ventures, the new packaging, finance and sales division of talent and literary agency Verve. The two new entities are partnering to produce The Twisted, which will be directed by Verve client Olatunde Osunsanmi.

Scott is producing The Twisted with Giannina Scott and Colet Abedi. The project was developed by Giannina Scott and Abedi for Scott's company Cara Films.

International sales veteran Amy Beecroft, who joined Verve in March, packaged the film with her Verve Ventures team. She will oversee worldwide sales for The Twisted and will introduce the film to buyers for the first time at the Toronto Film Festival’s market.

Written by Ari Schlossberg (Hide and Seek, Lucky 13), The Twisted is set in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, where strange things are happening to the children at an isolated orphanage. Anna, a child psychologist with a haunted past, must team up with a parapsychologist and his cameraman to interview the children who are demonstrating mysterious behavior. Anna expects to find reasonable causes, but when the children take a terrifying and twisted turn for the worse, the scholars start to wonder if it's the adults who are actually in danger.

Ridley Scott is already in town for the world premiere of his latest directorial outing, The Martian, starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels and Michael Pena. That film bows on Sept. 11. Scott Free also produced hot TIFF sales title Equals, starring Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult.

“The goal is to produce genre films from filmmakers who have a unique voice and a captivating vision,” Ridley and Giannina Scott said in a statement, calling The Twisted “provocative.”

Added Beecroft, “This is a great example of the high-quality, filmmaker-driven projects people can come to expect from Verve Ventures.”

The addition of Ridley Scott Presents… complements Scott Free’s sprawling film, TV and commercial interests. The 20-year-old company, based in Los Angeles and London, is home to RSA Films, one of the world's largest and busiest commercial production houses. On the film front, Scott Free has produced such films as American Gangster and Black Hawk Down. On tap, the company has Peter Landesman’s hot-button football film Concussion, starring Will Smith and Alec Baldwin (the film opens Christmas Day).

Osunsanmi's credits include the upcoming features Dark Moon for Universal and Eden for Gold Circle Films. He also wrote and directed Fourth Kind for Universal and has a number of TV series to his credit, including Falling Skies, Under the Dome and Minority Report.

The deal for The Twisted was negotiated by Scott Free’s Justin Alvarado-Brown and Beecroft on behalf of the filmmakers.