Republic Records and IM Global have launched a multiple picture co-financing and co-production deal for music-driven feature film titles.
The first movie under the deal will be urban comedy “Rollin’ Thunder” to be directed by Bille Woodruff, produced by IM Global Music chief David Schulhof, Republic’s Monte Lipman and IM Global’s Matt Jackson, and co-produced by hip-hop artist Nelly and actor-comedian Nick Cannon.
The story centers on a bowling champ-turned-ex-con who sees in a bowling tournament a chance to get back in the game, prove his innocence to the tycoon who owns Atlanta’s biggest bowling alley, and mend his relationship with his estranged teenage daughter.
The film will be set amid the Atlanta hip-hop scene, contain a major musical component and is scheduled to go into production this summer.
IM Global topper Stuart Ford said, “Our two companies share a similar entrepreneurial spirit and culture of creative risk-taking, and I’m sure we will make some highly commercial movies together.”
Republic Records is the home label for Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias, Florence + the Machine, James Bay, the Weeknd, Lorde, and soundtrack albums from “The Hunger Games,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Pitch Perfect” and “The Voice.”
Woodruff’s credits include “Honey,” “Addicted” and “Beauty Shop.”
IM Global is in production on “The Secret in Their Eyes,” starring Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Nicole Kidman, and on “The Free State of Jones,” starring Matthew McConaughey. It launched its music division in December.
Woodruff is represented by ICM Partners, Greenlight Management and attorney Peter Nichols. Nelly is represented by J Erving and ICM.