CULVER CITY, Calif., July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Tom Rothman's TriStar Productions has acquired the worldwide rights and given the go ahead to Money Monster, a fast-paced, character-driven thriller written by Jamie Linden. Daniel Dubiecki, who worked with Clooney on Up in the Air, and Lara Alameddine developed the script along with Jodie Foster, who will direct the film. Dubiecki and Alameddine's The Allegiance Theater will produce together with Clooney and his Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov. Alan DiFore and Jim Kouf wrote the original draft of the script. Principal photography is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015.
Clooney stars as Lee Gates, a bombastic television stock huckster, whose program (the titular "Money Monster"), and life, are taken hostage by an outraged gunman. As much of the world watches live, Gates must keep himself alive and, with help from the woman who produces the show, uncover the truth behind a tangle of big money lies. Taught and tense, Money Monster unfolds in near real time.
Dubiecki and Alameddine's The Allegiance Theater built a foundation from Dubiecki's career of box office successes and critical acclaim. Dubiecki received his first Academy Award nomination in 2010 for Up in the Air, and among his other credits are the Golden Globe nominated Thank You For Smoking and the Oscar winning Juno. The company is growing its slate of more than 20 character-driven motion picture projects across all genres for wide audiences. In addition to Money Monster, The Allegiance Theater's next project is Veronica's Room, based on the play by Rosemary's Baby screenwriter, Ira Levin.
Foster is an Academy Award winning actress as well as a successful director and producer. In 2011, she directed The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson and Jennifer Lawrence. Foster earlier directed Little Man Tate and Home for the Holidays. She recently received an Emmy nomination for her direction of an episode of the hit show "Orange Is the New Black."
Through Smokehouse, Clooney and Heslov have produced and directed multiple critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful films. Clooney most recently directed The Monuments Men, and previously directed Smokehouse's The Ides of March. Heslov directed Smokehouse's 2009 film The Men Who Stare at Goats. Together, they also produced the Academy Award Best Picture winner Argo. In addition to that Oscar, Clooney has won an Oscar as an actor for his performance in Syriana and three Golden Globes for acting performances.
Foster said: "I couldn't be more thrilled to start our Money Monster adventure alongside such a talented and passionate team. Tom Rothman and TriStar really get the movie and are the best cheerleaders our filmmaking team could hope for."
TriStar Productions Chairman Tom Rothman added: "It is impossible to resist saying that we at TriStar hit the talent jackpot today. We are deeply grateful to all the exceptional people involved. There is no one in the business whose talent, dedication and intelligence, I respect more than Jodie Foster. Dan and Lara are terrific producers who have nurtured that rarest of things: a commercial entertainment that is also smart as hell, timely and relevant. Grant and George likewise are Academy Award winning producers of the highest caliber. And, as the bonus coupon on this blue chip investment, we get to enjoy George Clooney in a tour de force acting part. I have no doubt that his collaboration with Jodie will produce an iconic and cool film."
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SOURCE Sony Pictures Entertainment