In today’s edition of "New Hollywood Besties," we’ll be discussing the recent business ventures of mega-producer Scott Rudin and Seth Rogen, whose production companies – Scott Rudin Productions and Point Grey, respectively – are set up for three films to be co-produced and distributed by Sony Pictures and Eli Bush. That’s quite the lucrative partnership. One of the projects they’ll be focusing on is a feature adaptation of the acclaimed 2012 chess-centered documentary Brooklyn Castle, for which 50/50 director Jonathan Levine will be reteaming with that film’s screenwriter, Will Reiser. Get ready to experience the feels on an eight-by-eight gameboard.
Katie Dellamaggiore directed the documentary, which followed a chess team from the Brooklyn junior high school I.S. 318 that were seemingly unbeatable. While part of the film focuses on the kids’ extreme skills in what is commonly thought of as one of the brainiest board games out there, attention is also paid to the students’ lives outside the school, where over 3/5th of the kids come from impoverished homes. On top of everything there is also the threat of budgetary restraints that wipe the chess team out of existence. You don’t need to like chess to like this movie, but you do need to have a heart.
The film won the Audience Award at South by Southwest that year, and that was when Rudin stepped in and snatched up the rights. Levine, whose last film was the zombie romance Warm Bodies, worked with Rogen on 50/50, but there’s no sign that that the actor will be taking any parts in this performance-wise. It’ll be interesting to see how Reiser handles this assignment, as 50/50 was his first screenplay, and it was largely an autobiographical take on his fight against cancer.
Here’s the Brooklyn Castle trailer that I’ll…pawn off on you.
Deadline says that Rudin and Point Grey, which was co-founded by Rogen’s writing partner Evan Goldberg and James Weaver, are also working on an untitled comedy project with the Mail Order Comedy troupe, which features the guys from Comedy Central’s constantly hilarious sitcom Workaholics. Anders Holm, Adam DeVine and Blake Anderson will all star in the unspecified comedy, based on an original idea that Holm will turn into a screenplay.
Earlier in the week we reported on Rudin and Rogen teaming up for Console Wars, which will chronicle the early days of video game dominance, when Nintendo and Sega were trying to turn every child of the 1990s into mindless drones that were awesome at NBA Jam. If chess, video games and stoner humor are what Rudin and Point Grey are bringing to the table, then I want more.