Former Hanway Films Exec Thorsten Schumacher Launches Rocket Science

Diana Lodderhose
Deadline

Former Hanway Films managing director Thorsten Schumacher has launched a new production, finance, sales and distribution venture dubbed Rocket Science.

The company, which will be based in London and plans to expand to Los Angeles in early 2017, is backed by a “consortium” of investors across Europe, the Middle East and Asia and will aim to create a diverse range of content for global film and television.

The first film under the international sales veteran’s banner is Saorise Ronan and Billy Howle starrer On Chesil Beach, an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s bestselling novel produced by Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley’s Number 9 Films. Rocket Science will handle and complete international sales on the title, which has already been sold to Lionsgate in the UK. Karlsen and Woolley developed the project, about two young lovers and how their unexpressed misunderstandings and fears shape the rest of their lives, with BBC Films. Dominic Cooke is set to direct and it’s scheduled to shoot this month.

Schumacher, who left Jeremy Thomas’ Hanway Films three months ago after 13 years at the company, has a long-standing relationship with Number 9, and previously sold titles such as Carol, Great Expectations and Byzantium for the banner.

On Chesil Beach is a perfect first project for Rocket Science as we aim to bring top filmmaking talent together to tell unforgettable stories with universal appeal,” said Schumacher in a statement. “It marks the start of what we’re certain will be a great adventure for everyone involved with the company, with the promise of further ambitious projects to come.”

While heading up Hanway Films, Schumacher worked on additional titles such as Shame, High Rise, Brooklyn and Anomalisa. He is expected to be at the American Film Market in Los Angeles next month, no doubt to get the ball rolling on the new company.

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