Nerve plugs in ‘Cordless’

Site, helmer log on to pic about warped spiritual rebirth

Screenwriter Oren Moverman will make his directing debut on the dark comedy “Cordless,” which represents the first step into hands-on film production for Gotham-based online content company Nerve.com and for comedian Louie Anderson’s newly formed film banner 33 Prods.

Described as a twisted tale of spiritual rebirth in contemporary New York, the film was scripted from an original idea by Moverman and follows the trials and tribulations of a Manhattan couple trying to conceive.

Anderson’s 33 Prods. will majority finance the pic, budgeted at around $1.3 million. Nerve has come on board to approach investors and attempt to lock down a distributor.

Abraham Geisness and Peter Bisanz of 33 Prods. will produce with Alisa Volkman, VP of film development at Nerve. Avy Kaufman is casting the project, with David Mullen (“Northfork”) attached as d.p.

In addition to co-writing “Jesus’ Son,” Moverman adapted William Burroughs’ “Queer,” which Steve Buscemi is attached to direct, and “Interrupted,” for director Larry Clark, based on Nicholas Ray’s autobiography. Move into production underscores Nerve’s increasing push into film-related activity. The SoHo-based operation has been active for some time as a marketing partner on the launch of specialized releases such as “Winged Migration,” “Whale Rider” and “Swimming Pool.”

Nerve also previously sold film rights to two original articles: Suzi Parker’s account of a female Viagra, “Genie in a Bottle: The Sex Drink That’s Rocking Little Rock,” which is being developed at Revolution by writer John Scott Shepherd as “Tonic,” a vehicle for Julia Roberts and Adam Sandler; and Nerve.com article “Chaps in the Hood,” about male strippers in Harlem, which is the basis for writer-director Malcolm Lee’s “Buck Wild,” set up at Dimension.

“We’re one of the few independently controlled online companies that is making films and seeking to connect in different ways with its users,” said Volkman.

Nerve.com is projecting revenue of $5 million for 2003, generated primarily by film marketing and the online dating service that is the company’s core business, with 2 million registered users. The online sexuality and culture magazine averages 1.5 million unique readers per month.

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