Hilary Swank and ‘Reacher’ Breakout Alan Ritchson will lead Kingdom Story Company’s ‘Ordinary Angels’; Lionsgate Cast
EXCLUSIVE: Twice Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Million dollar baby) and To reach to burst Alan Richson have signed on to star in the film ordinary angels from Kingdom History Companywhich Lions Gate will distribute.
Set against the backdrop of the worst snowstorm in Kentucky history, the pic is inspired by the incredible true story of a struggling barber (Swank) who single-handedly rallies an entire community to help a widowed father (Ritchson ) to save the life of his gravely ill young daughter.
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Jon Gunn (The Unbreakable Boy) is directing, having penned the final draft of the screenplay with Jon Erwin. Meg Tilly and Kelly Fremon Craig wrote a first draft. Kevin Downes, Jon Erwin and Andrew Erwin of Kingdom Story Company are producing alongside Jon Berg of Stampede Ventures, Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment, Dave Matthews and Johnathan Dorfman of Stolen Sky Productions and David Beal and Sarah Johnson of Green Hummingbird Entertainment. Chelsea Kujawa and Scott O’Brien are overseeing the Lionsgate project, with Phil Strina as director of business affairs. Gabriella Ludlow oversaw negotiations for the Kingdom Story Company.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Hilary and Alan,” Gunn said. “They are both actors with an incredible range, who find humanity and vulnerability in every character they play. They are perfectly matched to bring this complex and inspiring true story to life.
“Kingdom Story Company strives to bring inspiring true stories to life on screen. ordinary angels shines a light on the seemingly insurmountable struggles of one family and the everyday people who have helped them in remarkable ways,” Downes said. “Hilary Swank and Alan Ritchson bring to life this heroic example of how one person can change a family and how that changes a community and gives rise, literally, to life and hope.”
“Greg Silverman and I are privileged to have worked with the incredibly talented Hilary Swank at Warner Bros. and we are delighted to have her back on ordinary angelsadded Berg. “Stampede Ventures is committed to supporting rising stars and in Alan Ritchson we have the complete package – phenomenal talent. We can’t wait to begin production with our amazing writer/director Jon Gunn and our partners at Lionsgate, Kingdom Story Company and Dave Matthews’ Stolen Sky Productions.
Swank won the Oscars for his tricks boys don’t cry and Million dollar baby, and has also been recognized throughout her career with two Golden Globes, a Critics’ Choice Award, an Independent Spirit Award, a Gotham Tribute Award and a SAG Award, as well as numerous other accolades. Last year, she starred in Tom McCarthy’s Oscar-winning pilot Untitled Alaska Project, and also recently starred alongside Michael Ealy in Deon Taylor’s crime thriller Lionsgate, fatalas well as the Netflix drama series A way, which she also produced. The actress and producer has also appeared in series such as Trust and Beverly Hills, 90210. Additional movie credits include The hunt, i am a mother, what they had, Lucky Logan, new year’s eve, Conviction, Amelie, ps i love you, Freedom Writers, The black dahlia and Insomnia.
Ritchson is an actor, writer, director, and producer who can currently be considered the lead character in Amazon’s critically acclaimed series. To reach, based on the international bestselling novels by Lee Child. The series quickly became one of Prime Video’s top five most-watched series in the US and globally when it debuted in February, and is one of the platform’s most beloved original series. It was renewed for a second season after its first weekend. For Ritchson, the show came on the heels of his directorial debut Dark Web: Cicada 3301which he also wrote and starred for Lionsgate, and his years-long run on the HBO Max drama Titans.
Kingdom Story Company is an entertainment content company from the creators of I can only imagine and American underdog. Led by Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin, Kevin Downes and Tony Young, and in partnership with studio Lionsgate, it strives to bring content imbued with a surge of hope to audiences around the world.
Silverman started Stampede Ventures in 2018, after a nearly 20-year tenure at Warner Bros. which saw him become President of Creative Development and Global Production. His independent media company is also currently working on the Netflix animated feature. Prince of Port-au-Prince of Wyclef Jean; Mo Willems’ CGI animated rock opera, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed Up: The Underground Rock Experience, which will debut on HBO Max next year; and Morgan Neville’s Netflix documentary, curve ball. Recent releases include the coming-of-age comedy-drama Pink Skies Ahead, starring Jessica Barden, and the comedy special Mo Willems and the Storytime Stars Present: Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime!, which received two Daytime Emmy nominations, and is currently available to stream on HBO Max. Stampede also recently expanded its foundation into the kids and family space by partnering with UTA to launch HappyNest, an animation production company that incubates intellectual property for kids and family content.
Lee and his production company, Vertigo Entertainment, have produced more than 50 movies and TV shows over the past two decades. Past movie credits include the ring, The dead, The foreigners, The Lego Movieand Stephen King This. On the television side, he produced Bates Motel, The Exorcist, The stall and covenant. Vertigo’s Upcoming Movies Include Olivia Wilde don’t worry darlingin which she plays alongside Harry Styles and Florence Pugh; The mother, with Jennifer Lopez; and Minecraft with Warner Bros.
Stolen Sky Productions was founded by Grammy-winning musician Dave Matthews and producer Johnathan Dorfman, who have produced award-winning films including Joshua (Fox Searchlight) with Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga; Strangulation (Fox Searchlight) with Rockwell and Anjelica Huston; and Wild elegance (IFC) with Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne. In 2010, their sister company, ATO Pictures, became an independent distribution company with Dorfman serving as chairman. The company has produced or released films in the North American market, including Bruce Beresford Mao’s Last Dancerby George Hickenlooper Jack CasinoAzazel Jacobs Terri with John C. Reilly, Jessica Yu’s Last Call at the Oasis and Pawel Pawlikowski The woman on the fifth with Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott-Thomas. In 2013, Dorfman and Matthews returned to active production under their Stolen Sky Productions banner.
Green Hummingbird Entertainment is a boutique studio based in New York and London led by co-heads David Beal (former chairman of National Geographic Entertainment and Palm) and Emmy Award-winning producer Sian Edwards-Beal. His previous releases include the thriller Wim Wenders Submersion, starring Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy; the dramatic comedy Sleepless night, with JK Simmons and Emile Hirsch; the horror-mystery lost child; and the thriller Keely and Du.
Swank is represented by WME, Management 360 and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Ritchson by WME, Industry Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Gunn by WME and Weintraub Tobin Chediak; Tilly by Noble Caplan Abrams in Toronto, Ilene Feldman Management and attorney Mark S. Temple; Craig by UTA, Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Erwin by UTA and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole; and Matthews and Stolen Sky by Ilene Feldman Management.
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