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.”