Content Film and Room 9 Partner for Two Projects in '05
by Brian Brooks
ContentFilm and production company Room 9 Entertainment have announced a two film partnership, including a deal to co-finance and co-produce the two projects that will begin shooting in the coming months. The films are the first announced productions with ContentFilm's financing partner, Entertainment Investor, LLP.
Aaron Eckhart will play a tobacco executive in the big screen adaptation of "Thank You for Smoking," by novelist Christopher Buckley. The film follows the machinations of 'Big Tobacco's' chief spokesman, Nick Naylor (Eckhart), who, despite spinning on behalf of the cigarette industry (he is the spokesman for the fictional Washington-based Academy of Tobacco Studies), is trying to remain a role model for his twelve year-old son. Room 9 has been developing an adaptation of the novel since acquiring it from Warner Bros. Studio. Jason Reitman, an award-winning short film and commercial director, wrote the screenplay and will make this his feature-directing debut. The companies are working towards a start date in the first quarter of 2005.
Room 9 and ContentFilm will also co-finance and co-produce the teen comedy "Queen Lara," a contemporary interpretation of "King Lear" as a high school comedy of manners. The script by Nicholas Thurkettle was originally purchased and developed by Room 9. Described in a release as a dark comedy, the film centers on a despotic queen who divides her realm among three henchman and reaps the consequences. "Queen Lara" will be directed by Lev L. Spiro, known for his work on TV teen series including "The O.C.," "Gilmore Girls," "Everwood," "Dawson's Creek," and others. Casting is currently underway with production slated to begin in summer.
"We are very happy to be going into business with David Sacks and Room 9," commented Edward R. Pressman and John Schmidt, ContentFilm's joint chief executives in a combined statement. "David's passion for these smart comedies and his determination to produce them for a reasonable cost is directly in line with ContentFilm's new business plan."
Room 9 Entertainment was formed in December 2002 by entrepreneur David Sacks and his partners from PayPal, Inc., the online money transfer service that David Sacks helped to create and lead as COO. ContentFilm plc is a film production, sales and finance company operating in London, New York and Los Angeles.