War Party’s Joe Carnahan and Frank Grillo have teamed up with an investment group out of Calgary to establish the WarChest Fund. The fund has been established to create four to five films for the company, all budgeting below $20 million.
In addition, WarParty has set its sights on their next project, an original film titled “El Chicano.” The project is being co-written by Carnahan and Ben Bray with Carnahan producing and Bray directing and will be the third project for the nearly year-old production company following the upcoming “Wheelman” for Netflix and “The Raid” with XYZ Films. Grillo and Lorenzo di Bonaventura will be executive producing.
“We are excited to have ‘El Chicano’ be our second film under the War Party banner and first under our newly formed WarChest Film Fund with our partners in Calgary,” says Frank.
The new pic tells the story of two fraternal twin brothers, Pedro and Diego Hernandez, both raised in the toughest barrio of East L.A. Pedro is 10 years old, and a Vato Loco in the making, while his brother Diego follows his brother’s stylistic lead and influence but is, at the same time, his diametric opposite in both bearing and character: Pedro is the dark to Diego’s light, but as young chavalitos on the mean streets of Boyle Heights, they’ve survived by watching one another’s backs.
“‘El Chicano’ continues a tradition/trend that Frank and I are pursuing. War Party is looking to produce high-quality, intelligently executed action-thrillers, with an essential emotional core. We’re trying to do a global, Marvel-style film for a fraction of the price and cater to the Hispanic community, who statistically represents the most under-serviced, largest theater-going populace in North America,” adds Carnahan.
War Party is expected to produce between three and five films per year, including titles with franchise potential with the first film expected to be available for sales by EFM 2017. First up for the shingle is “Wheelman,” which was successfully launched and sold worldwide to Netflix at the Cannes Market 2016 and is set to release later this year. The high-concept action thriller, currently in post-production, was written and directed by Jeremy Rush and stars Grillo in the title role. War Party will also partner on the reimagining of the hit Indonesian action film “The Raid,” which Carnahan will direct and write, and Grillo will star. The film will be produced by War Party and XYZ. Gareth Evans, the martial arts auteur who directed the original “Raid” film, will executive produce.
Carnahan is repped by CAA and Grillo is repped by CAA and Management 360.