CONSPIRACY THRILLER WRITTEN BY JOBY HAROLD, WHO WILL ALSO PRODUCE
Brian De Palma has just closed a deal to direct a thriller, with financing and distribution already in place, according to Deadline Hollywood's Michael Fleming. But let's go back to the beginning:
Last month, Deadline Hollywood reported that Open Road Films ("the new distribution company created by exhibitors AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment") had aquired the U.S. rights to The Key Man, a thriller written by Joby Harold (pictured here, he is the writer and director of 2007's Awake). The Key Man, about a single father targeted by U.S. government agents who are apparently aware that the man's body contains answers to important national secrets, already had financing in place from QED International. QED's founder Bill Block told Deadline that the screenplay "recalls great films like Three Days Of The Condor and Marathon Man and is built on a fantastic story in the vein of The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure, and will appeal to a broad global audience." Open Road promised "a significant P&A [print & advertising] commitment," which is exactly what one might expect from a distribution company backed by the two largest U.S. theatrical exhibitors. Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg told Deadline that The Key Man is "one of the smartest, most original scripts we've seen," and that he expected it to "attract top notch talent."
Well, they're off to an excellent start with that top notch talent by signing De Palma to direct the picture, which will be produced by Harold, Block, Tory Tunnell (Awake, Trumbo) and Paul Hanson (Oliver Stone's W.).
PRODUCTION TO START BY YEAR'S END; QED STARTING OFFERS TO ACTORS
Deadline's original story stated that principal photography was "due to begin by early 2012," and today's post from Fleming states that production will begin "by year's end." TheWrap's Joshua L. Weinstein, following up on Fleming's Deadline report, states that "with the De Palma deal closed, QED is starting to make offers to actors."
Harold has cited early Roman Polanski as one of his main inspirations for making films. Last year, he was signed to Tunnell's Safehouse Pictures to apply his talents to commercials as well as feature films. Safehouse is mentioned by Fleming as one of the companies involved in The Key Man. Harold has had his hand in many a project of late. At Safehouse, he wrote a treatment for the Meryl Streep/Tina Fey comedy Mommy & Me, which he is co-executive producing with director Stanley Tucci. He has also written Fountain City, currently in development at Safehouse with Andrew Adamson directing. After hiring Harold a few years ago to work on a draft of Zach Snyder's "ultimate zombie movie," Army Of The Dead, Warner Bros. more recently set Harold to rewrite an adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka's time-travel space opera All You Need Is Kill, with Doug Liman attached to direct.