Araki helms for German-U.K. indie company
German-U.K. sales, financing and production company K5 will bring onto the market “The Womb” with Gregg Araki (“Mysterious Skin”) directing. K5 will also package financing with “The Womb’s” producers, Brooklyn-based Parts & Labor.The deal on “The Womb,” in development at Parts & Labor for the past year, is the latest at a burgeoning European company that has moved energetically into the U.S. indie production sector since it launched in 2007, acquiring “The Visitor” at Toronto. Five years later, it is selling Venice festival opener “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” Written by Araki, from an original screenplay by Dana Adam Shapiro and Evan M. Weiner, “The Womb” is “a dark cop thriller in the vein of ‘Seven,’ to which Araki will bring his own special twists and psychological surprises,” said K5 partner Oliver Simon. Now casting, “The Womb” is skedded to roll second-quarter 2013, added Daniel Baur, another K5 partner. K5 will handle international rights on “The Womb,” and North American rights will be co-repped with one of the agencies, per Carl Clifton, also a K5 partner. “Womb” rolls off K5’s first-look housekeeping deal, inked in January with Parts & Labor, run by Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy. Parts & Labor credits include “The Exploding Girl,” “Cold Weather” and “Beginners.” Plying a second first-look deal, K5 is also teaming with Kevin Frakes’ L.A.-based PalmStar Media Capital to co-produce, finance and sell “Fleming,” an action-thriller based around the figure of James Bond author Ian Fleming. Duncan Jones (“Moon,” “Source Code”) directs; Roger Avary (“Pulp Fiction”) has been brought on board to co-write with Jones. “Roger Avary brings a certain edge to the film,” Baur said. “The combination of him and Duncan Jones, such a fresh and exciting director with great commercial instincts, is mouth-watering.” Frakes, Simon, Baur, Liberty Films’ Stuart Fenegan will produce, in association with Jim Young at Animus Pics, who originated the project, and Robert Laycock of the Ian Fleming Estate. K5 does back straighter-arrow mainstream projects, such as action thriller “Vehicle 19,” starring Paul Walker, and spoof “Starving Games.” Peter Safran (“Buried”) is a producer on both projects. But K5’s films usually explore the now fertile middle-ground between pure-play arthouse and popcorn movies. “What we often seek is to involve artistically orientated directors in projects with real commercial prospects,” Baur said. “We couldn’t understand why in Germany, the second-most important market in Europe, there were no companies like Wild Bunch or HanWay,” Simon added.