Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has struck a deal with tyro filmmaker James Cox to write and direct “The Rock Star,” based on the recent NYU film school grad’s original idea.
The contemporary rock ‘n’ roll tale will be developed under Bruckheimer’s new Technical Black label, which is designed to produce lower-budget, genre films.
The deal for “Rock Star” came about during a whirlwind of meetings Cox’s reps set up during the last three weeks based on interest generated from the upstart’s 10-minute short “Atomic Tabasco.”
Though the 23-year-old was meeting with Bruckheimer about another project, after hearing his “Rock Star” pitch, the producer took the project off the market, writing a check from his Disney-endowed discretionary fund.
Bruckheimer Prods. execs Chad Oman and Mike Stenson brought “Rock Star” into the company and will oversee its development.
According to Cox, “Rock Star” chronicles the emergence of “an archetypal rock star” from a “middle-American town bordering a metropolis … it’s a celebration of that one-in-a-million type person as he builds his career.”
“Rock Star” will mark Cox’s feature writing and directing debut. Brandishing his NYU film school thesis “Atomic Tabasco” (in which he also stars), Cox has become the latest in a string of young filmmakers whose short films have opened doors in Hollywood.
In this case, Jason Flom, the pic’s executive producer and president of Lava Records, paved the way, introducing Cox to the William Morris Agency’s Michael Gruber and Ramses IsHak, who signed him and brokered the deal for “Rock Star.”
Cox also co-wrote three songs for Lava’s upcoming debut release from Spy, a techno act headlined by Cox’s NYU colleague and “Atomic Tabasco” co-star, Joshua Ralph. Cox, Ralph and Bill Bymel produced “Atomic,” which, in addition to Bruckheimer, has garnered the filmmaker meetings with Universal, New Line and Tony and Ridley Scott’s commercials banner, RSA.