Having recently expanded into production, development and financing, Lailaps Pictures has hit the ground running with a slew of projects, including Bille August’s South African drama “In a Different Time” and a fact-based Vatican spy caper set during the Cold War.
Headed by German producer Nils Dunker and Swiss actor-producer Anatole Taubman (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) and based in Berlin and Munich, Lailaps will finance, develop and produce international projects.
“In a Different Time” is an adaptation of Peter Harris’ novel of the same name. It chronicles the arrest and trial of four South African revolutionaries, known as the Delmas Four, during the apartheid era. August is attached to direct the courtroom thriller and is writing it with Greg Latter, who penned the director’s “Goodbye Bafana.”
Dunker said the company has raised substantial private equity funds to expand into international film development and production. It is establishing ties in North America and Europe to fully finance small- to medium-size-budgeted features and to co-produce films with budgets of up to $20 million.
Lailaps is sourcing material worldwide and has already optioned the rights to three screenplays that will be its first projects on its English-language film slate.
The company plans to develop five to eight films per year with a view to producing two or three films annually.
Also in the works is “The Spy of God,” a fact-based thriller based on a screenplay by German scribe Sylke Rene Meyer, about Warsaw Pact spies trying to infiltrate the Vatican in the late 1970s in reaction to the Pope’s support of the Solidarity movement in Poland and his ties to the CIA.
In “The Uncertainty Principle,” a romantic comedy written by Ben Chessell and Rjurik Davidson, a scientist travels through time only to discover that his future self is about to become his secret enemy by successfully romancing his girlfriend.
“The script is the key to a film’s success, whatever genre it is, and with that in mind, we have acquired rights to three excellent scripts to kick off our international feature film slate,” said Dunker.
In addition to Dunker and Taubman, Lailaps’ shareholders include Swiss businessman Philippe Gaydoul, who holds a 30% share as a non-executive partner.
Co-founded by Dunker and Taubman in 2006, Lailaps was originally conceived as a brokering house, sourcing and evaluating material from around the world for adaptation in the German and Swiss markets.