×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Thornton’s on the road again

Rodnyanski to fund tentatively titled 'Drove'

Russia invades Hollywood by ‘Car’

Billy Bob Thornton is co-writing and directing “And Then We Drove,” a road movie the filmmaker describes as “ethereal.”

The tentatively titled “Drove,” now being scripted by Thornton and his longtime writing partner Tom Epperson, is one of the first of up to six under-$20 million features to spring from the new $120 million film fund formed by Alexander Rodnyansky’s AR Films and Geyer Kosinski’s Media Talent Group.

Both the fund and “Drove” were developed during the production of tonight’s Berlinale competition world premiere, “Jayne Mansfield’s Car,” the producers’ initial collaboration and Thornton’s first narrative helming effort in more than a decade. (“Car” was not part of the fund.)

Rodnyansky, who is producing alongside Kosinski, said he hopes to receive the first draft in March and aims to start a U.S.-based shoot sometime this year.

“I found the story amazing. It’s a pretty new combination of genres to put into one movie,” said Rodnyansky, who heard the “Drove” plotline in detail from Thornton on the “Car” set. “It’s based on his personal experiences in many ways.”

Thornton said the film is about “a guy who’s on a road trip and picks up this girl along the way, and what happens to them. It’s about the question of life: ‘What is this? Where do I fit in?’ ”

An insider said the film is partly inspired by Thornton’s wild and well-documented relationship with ex-wife Angelina Jolie, which Rodnyansky confirmed. “It’s very much based on that experience as well,” he said.”

The story takes place all across the U.S., with stops in Los Angeles, the South and the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona.

Thornton said he’s received several distribution offers for his 2011 doc feature on Willie Nelson, “The King of Luck,” since its SXSW premiere, but he’s holding out for one with a theatrical release.

Rodnyansky just established AR Films U.S., a production and sales arm created in partnership with “Car” exec producer Sergei Bespalov’s production/sales outfit Aldamisa Entertainment, and eventually plans to use it for presales on all his productions (including AR/MTG features) and outside projects.

AR and MTG plan to announce more films from their fund in the coming weeks. Sales for “Car” are being handled by WME Global and Hyde Park at the EFM.

Thornton is repped by WME and Media Talent Group.

More Scene

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood hasn’t stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the hosting gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron attends the 44th Annual

    Alfonso Cuarón to LAFCA: 'Thanks to Your Help We Can Break Down Walls'

    Inclusion was the big winner at the L.A. Film Critics Association Awards, which was held Saturday night at the InterContinental in Century City. “This year’s winners are the most diverse in LAFCA’s 43-year history,” announced its president, Claudia Puig, adding that 14 out of their 18 awards were won by women and people of color. [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Max Malandrino/REX/Shutterstock

    Hollywood Power Players Assemble to Save Iconic Deli Nate 'n Al

    A group of Hollywood executives and celebrities have banded together with the intent to save Beverly Hills deli and star haunt Nate ‘n Al, a stone’s throw from tourist destination Rodeo Drive. A consortium of investors including music kingpin Irving Azoff and wife Shelli, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell, and Rande Gerber and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content