Imagine that Penn & Teller have doffed magic for management. You’d then have a serviceable image of the two men who make up Benderspink Management and Production.Chris Bender is the reserved, long-suffering Teller. Raised in suburban New Jersey, he’s reserved, thoughtful, almost shy — and seems pained at the idea of speaking about himself.By comparison, to view the burly and garrulous Spink in action is to watch some unlikely CGI-enhanced TV commercial: a bear commandeering a Jeep Wrangler around Hollywood with a cell phone selling scripts. Indeed, Benderspink’s initial focus was to sell as many spec scripts as possible — 24 in its first year alone, largely from unknown scribes. The company has recently moved into production, with New Line’s “Cheaters” and Warner Bros.’ “Cats and Dogs,” both set for releases later this year. Additionally, the company just inked a deal with Roulette Entertainment to form Film Engine, a foreign sales operation backed by insurance tycoon Bill Shively. The deal gives Benderspink $20 million in development and production funds for its own movies and to become, as Spink puts it, “a writer-based mini-studio.” On the horizon are a “Just Friends,” set up at New Line; a kids-oriented suspense-laffer called “Nightcrawlers,” in development at Warner Bros.; and “One Night,” a Gen X-themed drama for which foreign rights will be sold atCannes market via Film Engine.
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