×

Film News Roundup: Buffalo 8 to Launch Freewater Creative Development

In today’s film news roundup, Freewater Creative Development is unveiled, David Oyelowo gets a directing gig and Lionsgate has a faith-based slate in the works.

DEVELOPMENT LAUNCH

Production-finance company Buffalo 8 is launching Freewater Creative Development and has hired veteran journalist Kyle Ryan to head the new division, Variety has learned exclusively.

Buffalo 8 is part of five-year-old BondIt Media Capital, which has provided debt financing to more than 250 feature films and TV shows, resulting in more than $200 million of production spending. Recent BondIt-financed projects include Netflix’s “To the Bone,” starring Lily Collins; “Driven,” with Jason Sudeikis, and the Oscar-nominated animated film “Loving Vincent.”

Companies hire Freewater to assess their intellectual property and identify potential opportunities within it for web series, episodic TV, film, documentaries and podcasts. Freewater then develops projects in conjunction with the companies.

Ryan began working in development years ago as leader of Onion Studios, the content studio behind The Onion, The A.V. Club, and ClickHole. He’s a former editor at The A.V. Club, The Onion, and Entertainment Weekly.

DIRECTING ATTACHMENT

David Oyelowo will make his feature directorial outing with the drama “The Water Man,” with Oprah Winfrey executive producing.

Oyelowo will also star in the movie and produce with Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina and Maria Bello.

Emma Needell wrote the script, which centers on a young boy who runs away from home to find the Water Man in the belief that he can cheat death. Shivani Rawat of ShivHans Pictures is financing the project as well as producing with Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

FAITH-BASED SLATE

Kingdom Studios, founded late last year by the creators of “I Can Only Imagine,” has announced a a slate of faith based film projects to be released through their partnership with Lionsgate.

The slate was revealed Wednesday at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Anaheim, Calif. “The dream of Kingdom Studios is simple: to create a media company dedicated to telling life-changing stories by empowering incredible artists and creatives,” said co-founder Jon Erwin.

The slate includes the previously announced “I Still Believe,” scheduled for release on March 20, 2020, based on the life Christian music mega-star Jeremy Camp. New films include “Jesus Revolution,” the story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970’s and its Southern California origins; a trilogy of films inspired by the Bible starting with “Apostle: Resurrection of Christ”; and “The Drummer Boy,” a period musical being developed with the faith-based group King & Country.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Sony Pictures: 'We Are Disappointed' by

    Sony 'Disappointed' by Disney's Divorce on 'Spider-Man' Projects

    Sony Pictures has gone public over its divorce with Disney on future “Spider-Man” projects. In a rare public rebuke to Disney, Sony announced Tuesday night that it was “disappointed” over the decision, highlighting Disney’s refusal to allow Marvel President Kevin Feige to continue as a producer on the projects. It also praised Feige, who teamed [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    ‘Good Boys’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Good Boys.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.42 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Demi Lovato

    Demi Lovato Joins Netflix Comedy 'Eurovision'

    Demi Lovato has joined the upcoming Netflix comedy film “Eurovision.” Will Ferrell, who co-wrote the film with Andrew Steele, announced the news Tuesday with an Instagram post, in which he wished Lovato a happy birthday with a “homemade” cake. Following the announcement, Lovato can be seen blowing out candles on the cake next to a “Eurovision” [...]

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Film News Roundup: Rob Schneider Wins SAG-AFTRA National Board Seat

    In today’s film news roundup, Rob Schneider wins a SAG-AFTRA board seat; “Badland,” “Sorry We Missed You” and “Extracurricular” find homes; and “The Shawshank Redemption” gets a re-release.  SAG-AFTRA Rob Schneider has won a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Schneider won a four-year term [...]

  • This photo shows actor David Oyelowo

    David Oyelowo Joins George Clooney in 'Good Morning, Midnight' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Oyelowo is in final negotiations to join George Clooney in Netflix’s untitled adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight,” sources tell Variety. Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler are also on board, with Clooney set to helm the pic — his first feature film directing gig since 2017’s “Suburbicon.” “The Revenant” screenwriter Mark [...]

  • Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the

    Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the Window'

    Disney is shaking up its release calendar, delaying its live action “Cruella” until Memorial Day 2021 and pushing Fox 2000 drama “The Woman in the Window” to 2020. “Cruella,” starring Emma Stone, is based on the classic “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de Vil. The revisit to Disney’s animated classic was originally set to hit theaters [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content