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Good Machine puts slate in gear

Helmers include Lee, MacDonald

CANNES — Good Machine, accelerating its development with the promotion of two key employees, has announced a slate of pics set for the coming two years, including projects from directors Ang Lee, Peter Jackson, Joel Schumacher, Nick Gomez, Alan Taylor and Hettie MacDonald.

The indie, which is run by Ted Hope and James Schamus, has upped Anne Carey to senior VP of development and Cielo Cerezo to story editor.

Good Machine has been active on two fronts, with a well-stocked foreign sales division and a host of domestic projects, including Lee’s “Ride With the Devil,” Jim Fall’s “Trick” and Hilary Brougher’s “The Sticky Fingers of Time.”

Among the projects in the development hopper for Good Machine:

  • “Same Old Song,” directed by Lee from a script by longtime collaborator Schamus. Pic, based on the French film “On Connait la Chanson” by Alain Resnais, is a romantic comedy set in the world of real estate. Myriam Cyr and Maryam D’Abo will produce with Good Machine. Project is in development with Universal and was brought to Good Machine by Eric Hughes, VP of production.

  • “The True Story of John/Joan,” directed by Peter Jackson from Fran Walsh’s script. Pic is the true account of how a conspiracy of silence forced a young boy to be raised as a young girl. Jackson and Walsh will retain domestic rights with all foreign trade handled by Good Machine Intl.

  • “The Big Bazoohley,” scripted by Bill Marsilii from Peter Carey’s book. Pic, in development at Nickelodeon, marks the first foray for Good Machine into children’s films. It’s about a scrappy kid who enters the “perfect child contest” to save his family from ruin.

  • An untitled sweeping period adventure film from Lee. Pic is co-written by Larry Konner and Mark Rosenthal, who last penned “Mercury Rising” for Bruce Willis. Carey last worked with Konner and Rosenthal on “Dirty White Boys” for 20th Century Fox.

  • “Caucasia,” helmed by Phil Bertelsen. Pic, based on the novel by Danzy Senna, is a coming-of-age tale about two sisters of mixed-race parents, separated as a result of their parents’ political activism in the 1970s. Carl Franklin and Jesse Beaton of Monarch Pictures will produce with Good Machine.

  • “Carol,” helmed by MacDonald from a script adapted by Phyllis Nagy from Patricia Highsmith’s novel. Project is about a young woman who falls in love with an older married woman. Dorothy Berwin and InFilm Prods. are producing with Good Machine. Ceci Dempsey will exec produce.

  • “Story of My Disappearance,” directed and adapted by Gomez. Pic follows a young East German man who makes a life for himself as a fisherman in Newport, R.I., only to be confronted by a vengeful ghost from the past.

  • “Certain Poor Shepherds,” an original screenplay by Helen Schulman about a trio of young men who encounter a mystical pregnant woman. Anne Harrison is producing with Good Machine.

  • “Sweetheart,” penned and helmed by Alan Taylor as a follow-up to his Venice prize-winning “Palookaville.” Project is the comic story of a teen who covers up her pregnancy with a lie about a notorious criminal.

  • “The Exile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia,” by Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames, about two young American ex-pats who are running an upstart tabloid paper in the New Russia.

Other pics include “Church of the Dead Girls,” with Schumacher directing and Doug Wright penning the script, and “American Splendor,” from director Chris Smith, about cartoonist Harvey Pekar.

Carey, who joined Good Machine in 1996, has been instrumental in finding material for Lee, Schumacher, Nicholas Hytner, Taylor and Jackson.

She also works closely with Good Machine Intl. VP Amy Kaufman on drumming up source material.

“Anne has a remarkable eye for material,” Hope said. “She’s like a divining rod that can find the river in the desert. Most importantly, she’s indispensable in terms of shaping the material into what becomes the movie.”