EXCLUSIVE: Emma Roberts (American Horror Story, Nerve), John Gallagher Jr. (Peppermint, The Newsroom) and two-time Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (Nine Perfect Strangers, Knives Out) will topline Spencer Squire’s first feature, Abandoned, which is also the first to be fully financed through the partnership between Vertical Entertainment and Three Point Capital.
The recently wrapped psychological horror film written by Squire, Jessica Scott, and Erik Patterson follows a mother, father, and infant son as they move into a remote farmhouse, which harbors a dark, tragic history. As their home’s past is revealed, the mother’s fragility escalates to a state of psychosis that jeopardizes her own safety and that of her newborn son.
Roberts is producing with Robert Ogden Barnum, Eric Binns, and Byron Wetzel, with Neal Dodson, Andrew Gans, David Gendron, Neil Gobioff, Rich Goldberg, Peter Jarowey, Ali Jazayeri, Shawn Paonessa, Oliver Ridge, Zachary Quinto, Viviana Zarragoitia, Michael Reiser, Delos Chang, and Deepen Shah exec producing.
Vertical’s Peter Jarowey and Three Point Capital’s David Gendron and Ali Jazayeri will look to continue expanding into the film financing business, following their work together on Abandoned, also tapping into the former company’s longstanding relationship with Barnum, which has produced the theatrical and digitally released films Body Brokers, Lansky, Drunk Parents and The Neighbor.
In a joint statement, Jarowey, Gendron, and Jazayeri said, “Abandoned begins a new chapter for Vertical Entertainment and Three Point Capital and we could not be more excited to be partnered together on this journey. As we successfully did with Abandoned, our financing strategy moving forward will be hyper-focused on the symmetry of art and commerce making sure that the ratio of story, talent (both in front of and behind the camera) and spend equates to a fantastic consumer experience that is beneficial to both Vertical’s and Three Point’s bottomline. Our initial strategy is to activate this model for 2-3 projects annually beginning in 2022. From there, we will see where it takes us.”
“Abandoned is our first foray in this endeavor and we are extremely proud of the progress thus far,” added Vertical partner Jarowey. “Marking Vertical’s fifth collaboration with producer Rob Barnum, the screenplay is terrific, and Spencer delivered an extremely frightening, yet relatable, feature brought to life by his incredible cast.”
“We are thrilled to be fully financing Abandoned, our 15th collaboration with Rob Barnum,” added Jazayeri, who serves as Three Point Capital’s Head of Film Finance. “We’d also like to thank our friends at Vertical Entertainment for helping us structure a financing model which we hope to replicate with future projects with Rob and other independent producers looking for a welcoming financing home to their projects.”
Roberts will next be seen in Nick Cassavetes’ Now I See You, Marius Balchunas’ About Fate and Nathan Smith’s animated pic, Saurus City. The actress has also appeared on the film side in Netflix’s Holidate, Craig Zobel’s horror-thriller The Hunt, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s Nerve, Oz Perkins’ The Blackcoat’s Daughter, Tony McNamara’s Ashby, Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto and Rawson Marshall Thurber’s We’re the Millers, among numerous other titles. She’s appeared on the small screen in multiple seasons of FX’s horror anthology American Horror Story, Scream Queens and more.
Gallagher Jr. will next appear in Eli Horowitz’s thriller The Cow and Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s I.S.S. Additional film credits include Peter Hedges’ The Same Storm, Jacob Chase’s horror pic Come Play, Kristen Stewart starrer Underwater, Pierre Morel’s action pic Peppermint, Megan Griffith’s Sadie, Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, James Gunn-scripted horror pic The Belko Experiment, and Destin Daniel Cretton’s festival favorite, Short Term 12. The actor has appeared on the TV side in HBO’s Westworld, The Newsroom and Olive Kitteridge, among other series.
Shannon earned his Oscar noms for his supporting turns in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals and Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road. The actor has also appeared on the film side in titles including Knives Out, What They Had, 12 Strong, The Current War, The Shape of Water, Loving, Elvis & Nixon, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Midnight Special, Frank & Lola, 99 Homes, Man of Steel, The Iceman, Mud, Machine Gun Preacher, Shotgun Stories, and World Trade Center. He recently found a series regular role in Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers, also starring in BBC One miniseries Little Drummer Girl, Paramount Network miniseries Waco and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
Roberts is represented by CAA, Sweeney Entertainment and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson; Gallagher Jr. by Gersh, Range Media Partners and Yorn, Barnes, Levine, Krintzman; Shannon by CAA, Range Media Partners and Yorn, Barnes, Levine, Krintzman; Squire by Range Media Partners and Yorn, Barnes, Levine, Krintzman.