Mark and Jay Duplass have set a deal with interactive media firm Eko to develop a slate of live-action series.
The pact calls for the brothers’ DBP Donut banner to produce series rooted in Eko’s proprietary technology that allows viewers to seamlessly shape stories as they unfold.
Eko, a digital media firm based in Israel and New York, recently secured a $250 million investment from Walmart to develop content for the retail giant’s platform, although the Duplass pact is separate from the Walmart partnership. Eko’s investors also include former CBS senior executive Nancy Tellem, who serves as chairman.
The content will likely be short-form at the outset. DBP Donut is the brothers’ production banner for creative and branded entertainment content. It’s not yet clear if the Eko series will incorporate marketing messages.
Mark Duplass told Variety that he was drawn to the deal with Eko because of CEO Yoni Bloch’s approach to blending cutting-edge technology and storytelling.
“Yoni’s really soulful take on something that is very technology-led and his respect for storytelling was really exciting,” Duplass said. “Donut has always been interested in new stuff and new creative challenges. Just the idea of taking viewers from the classic emotionally engaged viewing experience to placing the narrative in their hand is what really caught me.”
DBP Donut has been active in pursuing innovative content formats. Last year it partnered with NBCUniversal and Snap to create scripted programs for Snapchat.
“The Duplass Brothers have managed to do transcendent work in every new medium they’ve set their sights on,” Bloch said. “Their creative curiosity is endlessly impressive and totally in line with our mission at Eko.”
Eko aims to distribute the content on its proprietary online platform. Previous Eko productions include the comedy series “That Moment When,” produced with Olive Bridge Entertainment and Sony Pictures. It also produced a new spin on the “War Games” franchise with MGM, and it recently set a broader content development pact with that studio.
The Duplass Brothers are repped by ICM Partners and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.
(Pictured: Mark Duplass)