Gunpowder & Sky, the youth-focused studio launched by ex-Viacom exec Van Toffler in January, has signed an exclusive deal for a film adaptation of “Eat, Brains, Love,” a comedic zombie road-trip novel by Jeff Hart.
G&S, backed by AT&T and Chernin Group’s Otter Media, is working on the project with DIGA, an independent production studio founded by former MTV executive Tony DiSanto, and author James Frey’s Full Fathom Five media and production firm.
The project reunites Toffler and DiSanto, whose productions at MTV included “Jersey Shore,” “Scream,” “Teen Wolf” and “My Super Psycho Sweet 16.” The companies said they are in talks with potential screenwriters for “Eat, Brains, Love.”
“Eat, Brains, Love” — the title is a play on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling novel “Eat, Pray, Love” — is the story of a pair of high-school sweethearts who contract a mysterious zombie virus and devour the brains of half their senior class. They set off on a cross-country journey to discover a cure, while being pursued by a teen psychic sent by the government’s top-secret Necrotic Control Division to track them down.
“How do you not adapt a book titled ‘Eat, Brains, Love’ into a movie, especially when the sequel is titled ‘Undead With Benefits’?” Toffler, co-founder and CEO of Gunpowder & Sky, asked rhetorically in a statement.
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DiSanto, CEO of DIGA added that he and Toffler “share a sometimes twisted sensibility, so I knew he would appreciate ‘Eat, Brains, Love,’ and that Gunpowder & Sky would be the perfect studio to team up with for the movie adaptation. It’s got everything you need from a movie — high school insanity, zombie sex, action, zombie sex (again) and over-the-top violence!”
WME negotiated the deal on behalf of Full Fathom Five. DiSanto and Full Fathom Five’s Todd Cohen brought the project to G&S.
Among other projects, G&S also is developing “DC Trip,” a movie based on the book by comedian Sara Benincasa, in partnership with Bona Fide Productions and Adaptive Studios.
Based in Los Angeles, Gunpowder & Sky was founded by Toffler, former CEO of Viacom’s Music Group; Floris Bauer, former global head of corporate development and strategy at Endemol; and Otter Media. The company has current deals with partners including Cut, viral-video studio Shareability, Supergravity Pictures, Realm Pictures, Bona Fide Productions and Adaptive Studios.