‘Jack Ryan’ Producer Mace Neufeld Launching FDR Thriller (EXCLUSIVE)

Mace Neufeld
Araya Diaz/Getty Images

New Films also comes on to finance James Franco's 'The Sound and the Fury'

Producer Mace Neufeld, who’s overseen the Jack Ryan franchise and “Omen” films, is ramping up development of WWII thriller “Pursuit.”

Nesim Hason’s New Films Intl. is financing and producing the $45 million project.

The script, penned by the team of Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement, is set in 1944 when the Nazi high command — knowing that the war is all but lost — launches a desperate attempt to crush the Allies’ morale and turn the tide by springing a German assassin from a POW camp in Washington state with the aim of taking out Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Neufeld says the project marks the beginning of a financing and development relationship with Hason.

NFI has also come on board to finance James Franco’s adaptation of William Faulkner’s classic novel “The Sound and the Fury,” which recently wrapped production in Princeton, N.J., following shoots in Mississippi in the fall and Los Angeles in the winter.

Franco directed and starred in “The Sound and the Fury,” in which Faulkner chronicled the lives and passions of the Compsons, a once-proud Southern family caught in a tragic spiral of loss and misfortune. Vince Jolivette, Franco’s producing partner at Rabbit Bandini Prods., said he is hoping to debut the film at the Venice, Telluride or Toronto film festivals.

He also credited NFI and its new president, veteran exec Amy Beecroft, with stepping in to provide the funds to complete the $10 million production. “Nesim and Amy really understood what we needed to make this work,” he said.

Beecroft joined NFI earlier this year following stints at First Look, HBO, GreeneStreet, FilmNation and Solar Entertainment. Hason told Variety that he hired Beecroft with the goal of moving Los Angeles-based NFI further into production on mid-range projects such as “Pursuit” and “The Sound and the Fury.”

Hason, who owned the first company to release video titles in Turkey, formed NFI 10 years ago with a focus on Eastern European markets.

Neufeld broke into producing in 1976 with “The Omen” and has a long resume that includes “No Way Out,” “Invictus,” “The General’s Daughter,” “Sahara” and “Flight of the Intruder.”

British scribes Clement and La Frenais have been teamed on writing for five decades, mostly for TV. Their feature credits include “Across the Universe” and “The Bank Job.”


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  1. tonyginn123 says:

    Excited about this remake! I know that casting will be in Accordance with the ” American Scene Awards ” A National Award under Sag-Aftra Happy New Year.

  2. Spike says:

    Further, killing FDR would not have ruined the Allies morale. They would have just continued pushing toward Germany with Patton, Montgomery and George Marshall. A much more realistic device for pushing back the Allies took place toward the end of the war when Germany made push into the Ardennes forest and created a pocket which they planned to make a pathway to the sea for a useable port in Holland. That was ill-fated too. Besides, someone already made a great film about it.

    Boys, if you’re gonna make up a WWII story, instead of sticking to the facts, you’ll have to come up with something better than a German assassin going after FDR. Too cartoony. It’s a dumb story for dumb audiences and likely won’t do too well because at 45 mill it has to do 150 mill to break even and there’s no 150 audience for that. Wanna know why? Because audiences really aren’t that dumb, notwithstanding all the stupid comic book extravaganzas in the multiplexes.

  3. Spike says:

    not too realistic, boys. In WWII, the Germans were completely inept at successfully fielding agents in the U.S., let alone having a go at FDR. The only time they fielded a few agents, all the agents were caught and imprisoned. so much for that. go back to the drawing board.

    Basically, Germany had a powerful war machine which crushed the weaker nations around it which had not been significantly militarizing. but when they came up against the allies at Normandy, they were toast. In the end, they could’t accomplish s–t except a lot of murdered, defenseless Jews. Bullies in other words. On a grand scale.

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