When the novice producers set out to make the code-breaking period drama “The Imitation Game,” it was quite a leap of faith, as they left successful TV careers (Grossman as a development manager at DreamWorks TV, Ostrowsky as a writer’s assistant on “Gossip Girl”) and jumped headfirst into the risky world of indie production.
“We were so passionate about the project and it seemed like the right time,” says Grossman.
They sold it to Warner Bros. “But we got it back after Warners hadn’t greenlit it within a year, per our contract,” says Ostrowsky, “and we had to start over finding financing again.”
The pair, who had founded Bristol Automotive, joined forces with Teddy Schwarzman (“All Is Lost”) and his company, Black Bear, and the project found a new home at the Weinstein Co.; Morten Tyldum (“Headhunters”) came on board as director and cast Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.
“We’d already met with Benedict when the project was still at Warners, so when Morten told us that Benedict was his first choice, it all fell into place fairly quickly,” Grossman says. “And we were very fortunate in getting the rest of the cast we’d wanted, as well as all the department heads, and all that helped make the process — from pre-production to post — go very smoothly for us as first-time producers.”
The pair have already sold another untitled “elevated genre” project, which they’re working on, based on their original idea, to Paramount and Bad Robot, and they have a TV show set up with Sky Atlantic in the U.K.
“Marc Forster’s attached to direct, and we’re waiting to hear if it’ll be going to series,” she says.
Julianne Moore is attached to play the lead role in another original idea from the duo.