The producer/director of an upcoming major motion picture based on the Bre-X Minerals fraud is in the final stages of financing and confirms he is in negotiations with an A-list Hollywood actor to play a lead role.
“We’ve worked hard on this for the last eighteen months, and it’s exciting for me to see the film attract A-list talent,” says Scott Rosenfelt, the film’s Los Angeles-based writer, director and producer. “We’ve always felt the story was strong.”
Rosenfelt believes that films like Bre-X: the Real Story appeal to top Hollywood talent because actors can sink their teeth into complex characters.
“There is a dearth of these kinds of stories and roles in Hollywood right now, they just don’t exist very often,” Rosenfelt says. “Most movies are giant popcorn movies, and you never get these kinds of three-dimensional characters. I think that’s what intrigues actors.”
The movie is being made by Cinema Veritas, a Los Angeles-based film company co-founded by Rosenfelt. Among some of Rosenfelt’s earlier films are Home Alone, which grossed over US$1 billion worldwide, and Mystic Pizza, in which actress Julia Roberts made her debut.
“Rosenfelt is one of the best independent film producers in Hollywood and has a history of completing projects on time, and under budget,” Toronto-based associate producer Stefan Muchal says.
The film’s backers are convinced that there is a big appetite from an audience of older moviegoers who typically like films based on true stories and political thrillers.
“This film has everything a good story needs,” executive producer Ronald Thomson says. “There is a trend right now for movies based on real-life events. I think people want to know what happened. This is obviously a Hollywood movie, but we’re trying to keep it as accurate as possible.”
Based on comparisons with other Hollywood portraits of historical events and people, Thomson and Muchal believe the film about Bre-X has what it takes to do extremely well at the box office.
Catch Me If You Can, a true story about an FBI agent (played by Tom Hanks) who chases down a con artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) who impersonated an airline pilot, doctor and assistant attorney general, and cashed millions in fraudulent cheques, pulled in US$352 million worldwide.
A Beautiful Mind, which told the story of John Forbes Nash Jr. (Russell Crowe), a math genius and schizophrenic who eventually won the Nobel Prize, earned US$313 million and JFK, a political thriller examining the events of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy through the eyes of a district attorney in New Orleans (Kevin Costner), raked in US$205 million.
Shooting is expected to get underway once financing closes and is expected to take 45 days, with 26 days in the Philippines and the rest divided between Calgary and Toronto.
Post-production will be done in Toronto by Deluxe Entertainment.
Since writing the initial script two years ago, Rosenfelt has tinkered with the depths of various characters in the story. He has increased the role of Barrick Gold’s Peter Munk, for instance, and the sparring that went on between Bre-X and Barrick for control of the Indonesian gold project.
“One of the interesting parts of the story is what happened between Bre-X president David Walsh and Barrick’s Munk,” he explains. “It was like the biblical story of Saul and David, and I use a lot of biblical references in the script.”