×

Steve Nash to Produce Movie About the Origin of Ecstasy (EXCLUSIVE)

Dori Oskowitz has signed on to direct an untitled independent film exploring the origins of the global rave movement in 1980s Dallas during the era of legal ecstasy, known as “Molly,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Richard Stratton has come aboard to write the screenplay. He co-wrote and produced “Slam,” which won both the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and Camera d’Or Award at Cannes, and was the showrunner of the Showtime series “Street Time.”

Braxton Pope will produce in the wake of producing “The Trust,” starring Nicolas Cage. Former NBA player Steve Nash and Ezra Holland of Meathawk Productions will executive produce along with Prettybird Pictures.

Dallas-based music producer Wade Randolph Hampton (known as DJ WishFM) will be involved in the project.

“I am excited to bring this remarkable story and piece of cultural anthropology to the screen with my partners at Meathawk and Prettybird,” said Pope. “Dori is a skilled visual storyteller with a narrative sensibility and with his extensive music background is the perfect choice to explore this world.”

Oskowitz directed the EDM documentary “Blackout” for Vice and was nominated for a Grammy for his Jack White video “I’m Shakin.” He has worked on musicvideos with Pharrell, Cee-Lo, Lenny Kravitz, Wiz Khalifa, Ke$ha, Raphael Saadiq, Leon Bridges and a Devendra Banhart short starring Natalie Portman.

Popular on Variety

Pope produced Oskowitz’s Passion Pit video “Constant Conversations,” which featured Peter Bogdanovich, Taryn Manning and Analeigh Tipton.

Legal ecstasy in the 1980s Dallas scene fueled a social phenomenon in places such as gay discotheques, yuppy house gatherings and Southern Methodist University fraternity parties. The movement vanished after ecstasy became illegal in 1985.

“Having played in Dallas for six years, I was drawn to this project for its relationship with the city,” said Nash. “After poring over the material I found an incredibly unique story with so many vibrant characters and a bold history known as the origin to the rave scene ecstasy culture. Its footprints are now all over the world.”

Stratton authored the novel “Smack Goddess” while incarcerated for conspiracy to import marijuana and hashish. He was released after serving eight years.

Oskowitz is represented by UTA. Stratton is represented by the Glick Agency. Nash and Holland are represented by WME.

More Film

  • Delete History

    'Delete History': Film Review

    If you’ve ever felt frustrated when a website asks you to select photos of traffic lights in order to prove that you’re not a robot, or struggled for a way to keep all your internet passwords straight, then digital-age satire “Delete History” was made with you in mind. Like the spam folder on your Google [...]

  • Whiplash

    Cutting Edge Group Acquires Soundtrack Label Lakeshore Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Cutting Edge Group, a leading music financier and services provider for film, TV and advertising, has acquired Lakeshore Records, a top independent soundtrack label. Their partnership will provide Cutting Edge with an in-house label, while Lakeshore will continue to operate as an independent, doing albums for such high-profile projects as “Marriage Story,” “Moonlight,” “Stranger Things” [...]

  • Sakamoto

    Ryuichi Sakamoto to be Honored by Locarno Festival

    Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who has worked with David Bowie in various guises and scored movies by greats such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Pedro Almodovar, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, will be honored by the Locarno Film Festival. Sakamoto, an electronic music pioneer whose Yellow Magic Orchestra, formed in 1978, anticipated both techno and rap music debuted [...]

  • The Reason I Jump

    Picturehouse Takes U.K. Rights to Jerry Rothwell's 'The Reason I Jump'

    Picturehouse Entertainment has picked up U.K. distribution rights for the Sundance prize-winning documentary “The Reason I Jump” from MetFilm Sales. Picturehouse’s Clare Binns and Paul Ridd and MetFilm’s Vesna Cudic negotiated the deal following the film’s world premiere at last month’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award. Directed by [...]

  • Jason Segel

    Jason Segel on his AMC Series 'Dispatches' and Working Outside Studio Model

    “How I Met Your Mother” and “Sex Tape” actor Jason Segel has said it was a “magical midlife crisis” that inspired his new AMC series “Dispatches From Elsewhere,” in which the actor was able to take creative control and work outside of studio constraints. Segel, who was speaking Monday as part of a keynote address [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone Variety Cover story

    Sylvester Stallone's 'Little America' Is Pre-Sales Hit for AGC International

    “Little America,” an upcoming Sylvester Stallone-starring sci-fi-action thriller, has proven to be a strong attraction for sales powerhouse AGC International. With Rowan Athale writing and directing, the project was introduced earlier this week at the Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market. Athale (“Wasteland,” “Outside the Wire,” “Way Down”) was in Berlin and met with distributors. [...]

  • Aum group logo

    'Fruitvale Station' Producer Co-Creates Multicultural Film Fund AUM Group

    “Fruitvale Station” producer Nina Bongiovi is teaming up with prominent figures in the film and tech industries to launch AUM Group, a fund dedicated to acquiring and developing IP and financing multicultural movies.  Among AUM’s (pronounced “om”) other co-founders are Gold House chairman Bing Chen, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin and Bongiovi’s Significant Productions partner Michael [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content