Scribes Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson (“Steinbeck’s Point of View”) have teamed with Lions Gate Films to direct and produce their original script “White Horses.”
Lions Gate will finance and distribute the pic. Mark Gordon (“Saving Private Ryan”) and Gary Levinsohn’s Mutual Films is negotiating to produce. Lions Gate hopes to begin lensing before the potential writers’ strike next spring.
The scribes plan to work closely together as both director and producer; both are debuting in those roles.
Set primarily in a reformatory camp in the 1950s, “White Horses” centers on a legendary coach of a top Northeastern university crew team who winds up, due to his alcoholism, coaching a rag-tag bunch of delinquents at the camp.
Through considerable training, the coach builds the group into a competitive team and pits it against the top-notch rowers at the university from which he lost his position. The kids agree to compete but really hope to escape.
“We think Mark brings an enormous cache and credibility to this movie,” Thompson said.
The scribe added that Lions Gate Entertainment’s vice chairman Michael Burns and CEO Jon Feltheimer have been “the straightest shooters we have encountered in this business.”
Mark Urman, co-prexy of Lions Gate Releasing, said: “This is a terrific project. It has brains and enormous heart. These writers have such ideas and a concrete vision as to how to realize those ideas that we know they are ready to become filmmakers.”
Meanwhile, “Steinbeck’s Point of View” set up at Warner Bros.-based Bel Air, is looking for a helmer. George Clooney has been circling the project, and the studio hopes to put the pic into production prior to the possible strike.
Camp and Thompson’s “Dragonfly” has Tom Shadyac on board as director and is set up as an MGM/Universal co-production. Pic, still in search of a star, is slated for a September start.
The writers also penned “North of Cheyenne,” which is set up at Paramount with Jon Amiel attached to direct.
They are repped by Emile Gladstone at Broder, Kurland, Webb and Uffner and Karl Austen at Armstrong, Hirsch, Jackoway, Tyerman and Wertheimer.