Icon boards to co-finance teen comedy
LONDON — FilmNation’s teen comedy “Premature,” which begins lensing in Atlanta on Wednesday, has added Craig Roberts (“Submarine”) and Alan Tudyk (“I, Robot”) to its cast.The two thesps join Katie Findlay (“The Killing”) and John Karna (“Bindlestiffs”), Adam Riegler (“Camp Fred”) and Carlson Young (“True Blood”). Pic is directed by Dan Beers from a script he co-penned with Mathew Harawitz. Icon and FilmNation are co-financing the $12 million-budget pic on a 50-50 basis. Glen Basner’s FilmNation, which is producing, will also handle worldwide sales. This is the second film that the newly revamped Icon U.K., owned by Access Industries’ Len Blavatnik, has financed after Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” starring Oprah Winfrey and Jane Fonda. FilmNation locked a slew of pre-sales for “Premature” at Cannes in May, including Studiocanal in the U.K., Metropolitan in France, Square One in Germany and Eagle in Italy. Additional sales were secured for Eastern Europe (Forum), CIS (West), Greece (Spentzos), Iceland (Sam), Israel (Lev), Latin American (Sun), Switzerland (Elite), Turkey (Aqua), Hong Kong (Edko), Indonesia (PT Amerio), Philippines (Pioneer), Singapore (Shaw), Taiwan (SSG), Thailand (Sahamongkol), Australia and New Zealand (Roadshow) and South Africa (Ster Kinekor). “Premature” sees a high school student (Karna) set to lose his virginity on one of the most important days of his life. But when things go wrong, he inexplicably finds himself having to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder produce while Basner, Icon’s Blavatnik and Aviv Giladi exec produce. Speaking to Variety, Basner said the pic is completely homegrown from pitch to screen, a first for FilmNation. “We, as a company, have evolved tremendously in the past year,” said Basner. “We are taking our profits and investing them in films such as ‘Premature’ and David Michod’s ‘The Rover.’ This is an evolution of what this company is doing based on having success.” In a statement Ryder added, “We are extremely proud of ‘Premature’ and it is exciting to see that, in less than a year, the project evolved from pitch to a well-developed script. It’s refreshing and rare to see a project come together so quickly.” FilmNation’s production arm, headed by Ryder, recently produced Jeff Nichols’ “Mud,” which screened in competition in Cannes, and Mark Tonderai’s “House at the End of the Street,” starring Jennifer Lawrence.