Duo driven to road-pic doc

'Splendor' scribes' 'Wanderlust' to preem next year

Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, the writing-directing team behind “American Splendor,” and Tailslate Pictures are partnering on an original documentary about road movies for the Independent Film Channel.

“Wanderlust” is slated for a premiere in the middle of next year on the commercial-free cabler. IFC’s Ed Carroll and Alison Palmer Bourke will exec produce the project. Bourke just nabbed an Emmy nom for her work on IFC original doc “A Decade Under the Influence.”

Julia King and Alicia Sams will produce the film for Tailslate Pictures.

“Wanderlust” will explore the road movies that have influenced and reflected American society through the years. Dennis Hopper, David O. Russell, Peter Bogdanovich, Robert Benton, Callie Khouri, Alexander Payne, Karen Black and Monte Hellman are among those who will be offering commentary.

“IFC has given us complete freedom to weave an exciting tapestry of storytelling,” Pulcini said.

Berman said: “Some of the questions we hope to answer are, Is it truly possible to break away from society and popular culture anywhere in the United States? Does the road still promise us an open sense of freedom and liberation as it did in so many great films? Or has the adventure of the American road ultimately been reduced to the stuff of Hollywood lore?”

“Wanderlust” is the first project IFC has slated for 2005. Bourke said the cabler hopes to produce another three or four docs in the coming year. Past originals include the recent “Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession,” “In the Company of Women” and “Decade.”

Berman and Pulcini are rewriting and directing the U/Imagine remake of “Bride of Frankenstein.” Previous credits include “The Young and the Dead” and “Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen’s.”

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