In a preemptive deal with progress-to-production elements, Russell Ackerman and John Schoenfelder’s new company Addictive Pictures has optioned Matthew Kennedy‘s feature spec “A Man Called Death,” TheWrap has learned.
The script features a “Misery”-esque setup that evolves into a “Usual Suspects”-type non-linear storyline.
Ackerman and Schoenfelder are former executives who previously worked with Guillermo del Toro and Scott Rudin, respectively. They have a first-look deal with Bloom, which is led by billionaire film financier Ken Kao.
Addictive landed the project over several financiers by pitching Kennedy a packaging strategy, including a list of the top-tier directors its founding partners have relationships with, that offered the writer the most upside. It makes Kennedy a producer on the project along with with his manager Brooklyn Weaver, who brings his own experience and relationships to the table. Energy Entertainment’s creative executive David Binns will co-produce.
By optioning his spec to Addictive, Kennedy is now able to have input when it comes time to choose a financier or distributor, which is becoming an important selling point for young writers these days.
It was an informed decision for Kennedy, who was well aware of the risks of simply selling his spec and having no control over its path to production. Kennedy is an industry veteran who had been working below the line and as an assistant director for several years before writing “A Man Called Death.”
The sale is a coup for a newcomer to the writing game, given how it has been a relatively sluggish year for spec sales.
WME Global structured the deal and the producers are currently out to directors.
Kennedy is represented by WME, Energy Entertainment and attorney Jeff Frankel.