Bishop, Brownridge, Mangum to rework story, pic set for greenlight
Fox Searchlight Pictures has closed deals with tyro hyphenates Orlando Bishop, Damani Mangum and Kevin Brownridge, as well as vet producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa (“Election”), to make “One Love,” a hip-hop version of “West Side Story.”
Searchlight has given Bishop, Brownridge and Mangum — who co-wrote the project — a short trigger to rework their script, which means that the classics shingle is confident it will soon greenlight the film.
“We enjoy being involved with new filmmakers,” said Berger and Yerxa, who also have produced such movies as Paramount’s “The Wood,” starring Taye Diggs and Omar Epps. “These guys, fresh out of film school and disarmingly energetic, bring an exciting perspective to the classic story.”
“We’re incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” Bishop said. “As we move ahead with Searchlight, we look forward to getting down to the business of making the movie.”
Berger and Yerxa said Bishop, Brownridge and Mangum are a three-man team, each skilled in writing, directing and producing. In this, their first professional assignment, Bishop will produce while Brownridge and Mangum will co-direct.
Searchlight exec veep of production Claudia Lewis and creative exec Joshua Deighton will oversee the project.
Fox produced Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 contempo take on Shakespeare, “Romeo + Juliet,” which grossed $145 million worldwide.
Bishop, Brownridge and Mangum are all grads of USC Film School — Bishop from the Stark Producing Program, Brownridge and Mangum from the production department. Bishop and Mangum are also Yale grads.
The trio’s deals were negotiated by Paradigm as well as by Linda Lichter at Lichter, Grossman, Nichols & Adler. Lichter also negotiated Berger and Yerxa’s deal.