Film and TV sales company and distributor Content Media announced today that it has closed a deal with multi-platform production Defy Media on “Higher Power,” an effects-driven sci-fi feature from Lorenzo di Bonaventura, producer of the “Transformer” and “GI Joe” franchises.
Content financed “Higher Power” with Defy, which targets 13–34 year olds with such popular online video brands as Smosh, Clevver, Screen Junkies, and Made Man. It currently produces over 35 weekly series, 29 of which average over 500,000 views per episode.
This summer, Defy made its first foray into film production earlier this year with “Smosh: The Movie,” produced with AwesomenessTV, which premiered in July.
International distributors will get their first look at “Higher Power” at the American Film Market (AFM) next week in Santa Monica, where Content’s Film president Jamie Carmichael and its head of sales Harry White will debut footage from the film.
The U.S. distribution rights for “Higher Power” are being co-repped by Content and CAA.
Defy has a different agency partner, WME. In August, it signed a deal with the agency to package its slate of original projects for television and other formats, and it’s currently working with RatPac Entertainment, the WME-repped prodco headed by Brett Ratner and James Packer, to develop several concepts.
“Higher Power” is being described as “’X-Men’ meets ‘Chronicle.’” It tells the story of an everyman who risks his life to save his daughter and, in classic super hero fashion, ends up with powers beyond his wildest imagination.
Directed by Matthew Santoro (visual effects artist for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “300”) from a script by Julia Fair (“Alien Raiders”), the film stars stars Ron Eldard (“Sleepers,” “Black Hawk Down”), Colm Feore (“The Chronicles of Riddick,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), Jordan Hinson (“Kevin From Work,” “Eureka”), Austin Stowell (“Whiplash,” “Dolphin Tale”) and Jade Tailor (“Karma”).
Defy recently announced a slate for Verizon’s recently-launched mobile platform Go90 original series from Clevver, Screen Junkies and Made Man set to launch in early 2016. It’s also in production on a new original Smosh YouTube series, set to debut early next year, and its development slate includes projects from comedians Trevor Moore (working title “America High Five”) and Theo Von (working title “Blind Dates”).
Contents international sales slate also includes Dennis Hauck’s neo-noir detective thriller “Too Late,” starring John Hawkes; Joel David Moore’s “Youth In Oregon,” starring Frank Langella, Billy Crudup and Christina Applegate; director Niki Caro’s Maria Callas biopic “Callas,” starring Noomi Rapace; “Life at These Speeds,” starring Billy Crudup and Graham Rogers; the romantic drama “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” starring Jason Sudeikis, Maisie Williams and Jessica Biel; and the action/thriller “Pandemic,” starring Rachel Nichols, Mekhi Phifer, and Missi Pyle.