EXCLUSIVE: Veteran film producer Ben Cosgrove and bestselling author Josh Foer have founded independent production company Leviathan Productions which will focus on creating premium film and television content based on Jewish stories.
Back by private funding, Leviathan has a plan to acquire and develop mass-market films and TV content based on Jewish history, folklore, and literature, as well as stories about Israel.
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Already Leviathan has acquired a number of projects including the Leonard Slater book The Pledge, which centers around the true story of the men and women who led the underground effort in the United States to acquire and transport planes to Israel in advance of the War of Independence.
There’s also The Secret Chord, a novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks about the rise and reign of King David.
Playwright Anna Ziegler will also adapt her award-winning play Photograph 51 which starred Nicole Kidman during its run in the West End, and tells the story of Rosalind Franklin, the Jewish scientist who discovered the structure of DNA, only to see credit for her discovery taken by Watson and Crick.
“Jewish stories have incredible resonance because they explore ideas that are universally identifiable. Everyone knows what it feels like to be the underdog, the outsider, or the immigrant. Jewish stories tackle these ideas with humor and drama, and people around the world see themselves in our stories” said Cosgrove, co-founder, Leviathan Productions. “Also, shows like Fauda, Shtisel, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Spy, Unorthodox, and Tehran have proven that premium Jewish-centric content is also good business.”
“Leviathan will ensure that the Jewish tradition is carried forward by the most powerful storytelling platforms in the world – TV and film,” said co-founder and chairman Foer, “We hope to fundamentally shape how the Jewish people’s stories are shared for posterity.”
Cosgrove served as the President of 2929 Productions and produced such movies as Serena, starring Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence, and Deadfall, starring Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde. Prior to 2929, Cosgrove was SVP of Production at Paramount Pictures where he steered the Oscar-winning The Fighter and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.
Before Paramount, Cosgrove was President of George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production company Section Eight and developed such movies as The Good German, Rumor Has It; Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana and Insomnia.
Foer is the co-founder and chairman of Atlas Obscura, co- founder and chairman of Sefaria, and co-creator of the international design competition Sukkah City. He is also the author of the #1 national bestseller Moonwalking with Einstein, which has been translated into 37 languages, and co-author of Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders, the bestselling travel book of the last decade. His writing has been published in the New Yorker, National Geographic, Esquire, and the New York Times Magazine among other publications. He was named one of the Forward 50 and one of “Ten People Who Could Change the World” by the New Statesman Magazine. He is a director of the Jim Joseph Foundation.
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