The alliance is aimed at fulfilling Studiocanal’s goal of making European-based movies for an international audience.
Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce each feature, with President of Production Evan Hayes serving as executive producer. “Fallen Idol,” “Hindenberg” and music promoter saga “The Great Pretender” are being developed in association with Parkes+MacDonald partner ImageNation Abu Dhabi.
The first film under the new deal will be “The Great Pretender,” based on the autobiography of London-based music promoter Roy Tempest, who organized UK tours in the 1960s for some of America’s biggest soul acts – even though the acts were fakes. Ol Parker (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) is writing the screen adaptation of the book. Intellectual Property Group’s Joel Gotler, who represented the book, will also serve as an executive producer.
“Fallen Idol” is planned as a re-telling of the story in the 1948 film directed by Carol Reed and based on the short story “The Basement Room” by Graham Greene. Reed and Green were nominated for Oscars.
Popular on Variety
The story centers on an ex-US Special Forces officer hired as head of security for a wealthy English family living in Hong Kong, who develops a paternal relationship with the son, which becomes deadly when the son discovers his true past. The script is being written by New Yorker journalist Patrick Radden Keefe (author of “The Hunt For El Chapo and The Snakehead”) after a draft by David Farr.
“Hindebnburg” focuses on the chief engineer of the Zeppelin Company, who tries to save his Jewish lover from the dangers of pre-war Berlin by booking passage for both of them to America – only to discover that they and the rest of the passengers are in mortal danger because of a saboteur on board. Gary Spinelli is writing the script, based on an original screenplay by Jacob Held.
Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment is executive producing.
Parkes+MacDonald is also working with Studiocanal to develop the thriller “Coldheart” in which a disgraced intelligence officer is brought back into active duty to help spring a young American political activist captured in Russia, only to uncover a trail of deception that leads to the upper reaches of the CIA. David Farr (“The Night Manager”) is writing the script, based on an original story by Farr and Parkes.
Parkes+MacDonald Productions, Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Studiocanal most recently worked together on the French theatrical release of the feature documentary “He Named Me Malala.” Image Nation Abu Dhabi also worked with Studiocanal on Ali Mostafa’s road comedy “From A to B” and Majid Al-Ansari’s psychological thriller “Zinzana.”
Parkes+MacDonald’s credits include the Men In Black franchise, “Gladiator,” “The Ring,” “Minority Report,” “Catch Me If You Can” and “Keeping Up with Joneses.” The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.