Fresh off her Emmy wins for HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” Nicole Kidman is staying true to her commitment to making movies with women directors: She will star in director Karyn Kusama’s upcoming Los Angeles crime thriller “Destroyer.”
Headed by partners Dan Friedkin (chairman and CEO of automotive, hospitality and entertainment consortium The Friedkin Group) and ex-CAA agent Micah Green with offices in New York and Los Angeles, new company 30WEST is financing “Destroyer,” with Rocket Science handling foreign sales. Automatik’s “La La Land” producer Fred Berger is producing alongside co-writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (Kusama’s “The Invitation”). ICM Partners and CAA are selling North American rights.
Kusama directs from Hay and Manfredi’s original screenplay about an LAPD detective (Kidman) who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a cultish gang in the California desert. Years later, when she encounters the gang’s leader, she must dig into her complicated past.
Oscar-winner Kidman has been on a roll, not only with “Big Little Lies,” which she developed and executive produced with co-star Reese Witherspoon, but roles in four recent projects that screened at Cannes — Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled,” Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake” Season 2, and John Cameron Mitchell’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” — earned her a special acting award.
Newly founded 30WEST provides capital and strategic guidance for filmmakers and companies as their projects wind their way through development, funding, production, release and licensing. 30WEST recently acquired North American distribution rights to Michael Pearce’s psychological thriller “Beast,” as well as domestic rights, along with Neon, to Craig Gillespie’s Toronto International Film Festival hit “I, Tonya,” starring Margot Robbie. 30WEST and Cinetic Media also sold rights to Morgan Spurlock’s TIFF fast-food documentary “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” to YouTube Red.
Thorsten Schumacher’s two-year-old Rocket Science helped raise financing for David Lowery’s “The Old Man and the Gun” (Fox Searchlight), starring Robert Redford and Casey Affleck; Dominic Cooke’s film adaptation “On Chesil Beach,” starring Saoirse Ronan, which sold to Bleecker Street out of the Toronto Film Festival; Nick Hornby adaptation “Juliet”; Harmony Korine’s “The Beach Bum,” starring Matthew McConaughey; Julian Schnabel’s “At Eternity’s Gate,” starring Willem Dafoe as Vincent van Gogh; Kristin Scott Thomas’ directorial debut, “The Sea Change,” based on Elizabeth Jane Howard’s novel; and Taika Waititi and Mark Gustafson’s stop-motion animation biopic “Bubbles” (Netflix), about Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee.
Seven-year-old L.A. film and television production company Automatik, partnered with Grandview Management, has produced over 60 films including the films of director Jeff Nichols, the “Insidious” Chapters, the “Sinister” series, “The Signal,” Reed Morano’s “I Think We’re Alone Now,” Max Minghella’s “Teen Spirit,” Leigh Whannell’s “Stem,” and Hany Abu-Assad’s “The Mountain Between Us.” Next up are Chris Weitz’s “Operation Finale” starring Oscar Isaac and Sir Ben Kingsley, and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s “Dreamland” starring Margot Robbie.