EXCLUSIVE: Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions and Right of Way Films are teaming up to bring Damien Chazelle‘s Sundance Prize-winning short Whiplash to the screen as a feature. Bold Films will fully finance the film. Chazelle was basically dared by Right of Way and Blumhouse to direct a short based on his Black List script about a talented young drummer who strives for perfection under the instruction of a ruthless band conductor. That short was produced by Reitman’s partner Helen Estabrook and Blumhouse EVP Couper Samuelson, along with Nicholas Britell and was awarded the 2013 Sundance short film jury prize. J.K. Simmons will reprise his role from the short and star in the feature. WME Global is repping domestic rights and Sierra/Affinity is selling offshore territories.
Jason Blum will produce the feature for Blumhouse and Estabrook will produce for Right of Way. Michel Litvak and David Lancaster will produce on behalf of Bold. Reitman and Samuelson will executive produce along with Bold’s Gary Michael Walters. Nicholas Britell will be a co-producer. Sierra/Affinity will commence international sales on behalf of the film at this year’s Cannes Film Market. Samuelson and Estabrook said: “We had high expectations of Damien’s ability as a filmmaker even before he took 15 pages from his screenplay and made a terrific short. We can’t wait to have those expectations exceeded once again with the other 85 pages.” Bold’s Lancaster said they sparked to Chazelle’s “fresh and unique voice as a filmmaker.” Chazelle is repped by Gersh and Exile Entertainment’s Gary Ungar.