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Aura, Echo Lake make ‘Big’ plans

Pic to be penned, helmed by Anderson

Aura Entertainment and Echo Lake Prods. are co-financing “The Big Empty,” starring Jon Favreau and Rachael Leigh Cook.

Written and directed by Steve Anderson, “Empty” is the story of a budding actor faced with a stalled career and a mountain of debt. After receiving a strange financial offer, he embarks on a journey in a California desert town that transports him to another world.

The cast also includes Kelsey Grammer, Sean Bean, Adam Beach, Joey Lauren Adams, Daryl Hannah, Gary Farmer, Jon Gries and Bud Cort.

Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding of Echo Lake are producing with Rainstorm Entertainment principals Steve Kaplan and Gregg Daniel. Aura principals Steven Bickel and Jeffrey Kramer are exec producing the project, with Bickel repping the pic.

” ‘The Big Empty’ was the first script to truly provide the elements we believe could make for a successful, highly entertaining picture,” says Aura prexy Bickel. He adds that Aura aims to adapt to “the current state of this changing business and provide our distributors with a genuine upside by recognizing their financial realities.”

Aura is a partnership between industry vets Bickel and Kramer that is part of Lexington Entertainment Group, which includes East of Doheny Prods., Lexington Road Prods., Post Logic Studios, Creo and Lexington Funding.

Lexington Commercial Holdings is LEG’s parent company, with interests in commercial real estate, U.S. private and public companies and is the co-founder of Firstream Group, a European creator and operator of Internet and technology companies.

Echo Lake is a production company with exclusive access to a private investment fund. The shingle has helped produce and finance Jill Sprecher’s “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing,” Allison Anders’ “Things Behind the Sun” and David Riker’s “The City.”