Production company aims to build slate of high-end specialty films

Aiming to fill the niche for high-end specialty films, veteran exhibitor Daniel Crown and indie producer Daniela Taplin Lundberg have launched Gotham-based Red Crown Prods. for development and production financing.

“With studios tightening budgets and the number of films they’re greenlighting, we think there’s a great opportunity for premiere types of specialty projects,” said Taplin Lundberg, a former Plum Pictures partner. “The studios are largely willing to make their big bets on franchises these days.”

The duo’s already showing traction, forging partnerships with top-level producers Mark Gordon, Barry Josephson, Marc Platt and Jennifer Todd. Their financial model calls for them to assemble talent packages on their own before obtaining studio financing, along with making investments in other indie projects.

Red Crown — based on Taplin Lundberg’s hair color and Crown’s name — is furthest along on “Tumor,” based on the graphic novel by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon, which appeared at this year’s Comic-Con. The story follows the final mission of a failed private detective who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor that causes time-bending hallucinations.

Red Crown is partnered with Josephson (“Life As We Know It”) to produce. Sam Bayer (“Nightmare on Elm Street”) is attached to direct and produce.

Josephson told Daily Variety he was impressed with the track record of the Red Crown partners, citing Taplin Lundberg’s knack for spotting emerging talent and the decisiveness of the duo when they agreed to partner with him.

Red Crown is developing a feature version of Curtis Sittenfeld’s “American Wife,” a fictional tale loosely based on the life of Laura Bush. Red Crown will partner with Platt to produce, and Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia”) will write.

The banner’s slate also includes an adaptation of “Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood.” The tome — penned by Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones and Pamela Ferdinand — is the true story of a friendship between three women and the path toward motherhood.

Red Crown’s Taplin Lundberg and Riva Marker will produce with Todd and Gordon of the Mark Gordon Co. “Daniela’s wonderful at being able to operate in that very tough world of raising independent money in New York,” Todd said. “We anticipate doing a lot of business with them.”

Taplin Lundberg was a producer on “The Kids Are All Right,” “The Romantics” (along with Todd), “Grace Is Gone,” “Dedication,” “Lonesome Jim” and “The Baxter.”

Crown has been CEO of Cineamerica East Theaters in addition to exec producing “Motherhood,” “The Answer Man” and the upcoming TWC release “Dirty Girl.”

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