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by Eugene Hernandez
July 24, 2010 4:37 AM
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Indie Quartet Sign Pact with "God"

An image from "A Contract With God."

Four indie filmmakers have their sights set on "A Contract With God," a new film that will be based on Will Eisner's acclaimed graphic novel about the New York City immigrant experience in the 1930s. Alex Rivera, Sean Baker, Barry Jenkins and Tze Chun are each slated to direct a chapter from Eisner's graphic novel. The project is driven by Darren Dean, who has adapted the graphic novel for the screen and will produce the film.

The entire group of filmmakers -- in San Diego, CA tonight for Comic Con -- unveiled the project at the event's annual Eisner awards that are named for the acclaimed comic book master. They are aiming to shoot the live action feature next year, they said today, adding that they would cast key roles in the coming months.

"Eisner utilizes the comic book format in an innovative and pioneering way to explore stories and memories from his childhood growing up in a New York City tenement," the group said, "Each tale captures the brutality, fragility, and tenderness that exists among people living in close quarters in challenging economic times." Nat Sanders, editor of Barry Jenkins' “Medicine for Melancholy” and Lynne Shelton's “Humpday”) will serve as editor of the entire film.

The filmmakers are working with the estate of the late Will Eisner, who died in 2005. Veteran comic book insider Bob Shreck and Michael Ruggiero, the former head of original programming at STARZ, will serve as co-executive producers of the project and Tommy Oliver of Squirrel Films is a co-producer with indieWIRE co-founder Mark Rabinowitz on board as associate producer.

Bob Schreck said, in a statement, "Getting to know Will Eisner was one of the great honors of both my personal and professional journeys. We are all well aware that the work ahead has a very high bar of excellence to aspire to set by Mr. Eisner's pioneering achievements in storytelling."

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