Focus Features Press
Writer/Director Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) at work on next movie, for Focus Features
Posted May 17, 2010
WAM Films’ Stephanie Danan and Alain Chabat producing
CANNES, May 15, 2010 – Academy Award-nominated writer/director Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) is planning her next movie at Focus Features. The untitled project, to be produced by Wam Films’ Stephanie Danan and Alain Chabat, is based on the 1999 French-language feature film Ressources humaines (Human Resources) directed by Laurent Cantet and written by Mr. Cantet with Gilles Marchand. Worldwide rights to the new film will be held by Focus. The announcement was made today by Focus CEO James Schamus.
Ms. Hunt is already at work scripting the adaptation, to be set in contemporary America while following the original feature’s template. The drama will chart the professional and personal interactions between a new arrival at a factory, charged with making personnel changes, and the working-class people there with whom the recent business school graduate has had a long history – one which is unlikely to circumvent the current economic realities. With cuts to be made, can any choice be the right choice?
Focus senior vice president, production Kahli Small is supervising the project with Focus director of production development Samantha Taylor Pickett for Focus president of production John Lyons.
Mr. Schamus said, “In Frozen River, Courtney Hunt, with extraordinary empathy and skill, depicted the lives of real Americans rarely shown in Hollywood movies – all the while keeping audiences riveted. We’re proud to join her on her latest project, and we’re pleased to be collaborating with our longtime friends at Wam Films.”
Ms. Hunt’s 2008 feature debut as writer/director, Frozen River, earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and won the Best Film prize from the Gotham Awards; the film’s star Melissa Leo received Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Actress, among other honors.
Ms. Danan and Mr. Chabat are producing partners in the Los Angeles-based Wam Films, a subsidiary of Mr. Chabat’s France-based production company Chez Wam, which produced Focus’ current release Babies. Wam Films is in post-production on A Thousand Words, starring Eddie Murphy for director Brian Robbins.
Focus Features and Focus Features International (www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world.
Current and upcoming Focus Features releases include Greenberg, from writer/director Noah Baumbach and starring Ben Stiller; the unique nonfiction feature Babies, directed by Thomas Balmès; Anton Corbijn’s suspense thriller The American, starring George Clooney; writer/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story; Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere; Kevin Macdonald’s Roman epic adventure The Eagle of the Ninth, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong; Joe Wright’s adventure thriller Hanna, starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, and Eric Bana; Cary Fukunaga’s romantic drama Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender; and Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right, starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo.
Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.