In a competitive bidding war, NEON has closed the deal for the Anomalisa helmer and Oscar® nominee, Duke Johnson’s The Actor. The film, starring Oscar® nominee Ryan Gosling, is based on Donald E. Westlake’s best-selling novel, Memory. Director Johnson penned the script alongside Stephen Cooney. NEON will take North American rights for the highly anticipated package.
Stranded in 1950s Ohio after a brutal attack, actor Paul Cole (Gosling), suffering from severe memory loss, struggles to find his way back to his life in New York and reclaim what he has lost. The Actor follows a thrilling journey we must all make, to find home, to find love and ultimately to find ourselves.
Gosling is producing the feature alongside Waypoint Entertainment’s Ken Kao. Duke Johnson will produce with Abigail Spencer under their Innerlight Films production banner. Paul Young is producing through his company, MAKE GOOD. Charlie Kaufman is executive producing. Gosling and Kao’s partnership follows their recent project announcements of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Project Hail Mary at MGM, and Leigh Whannell’s Wolfman at Universal.
Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for NEON with CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content, who are co-repping U.S. rights. Endeavor Content is handling international sales.
The pickup of The Actor continues NEON’s foray into boarding projects from early stages, as they did with Best Picture Oscar® winner, Parasite and Pablo Larrain’s upcoming Spencer, as NEON has accumulated 12 Academy Award® nominations, five wins, including Best Picture and has grossed over $150 million at the box office in only four years. NEON has more projects upcoming, like Pablo Larrain’s Spencer starring Kristen Stewart and the narrative remake of the documentary The Painter and the Thief.