EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat and The Hideaway Entertainment will partner to produce Can You Hear Me?, a new thriller scripted by Taylor Anthony Hopkins (The Last Reverie) and Luke Kelly-Clyne (Soft, Downbeat). Set to direct the pic, which is currently casting, is Emmy and DGA Award nominee Dean Israelite (Little Wing).
Can You Hear Me? follows a telephone scammer who learns that his nephew has been kidnapped and must collect a sum of money to get him back. Financed by The Hideaway Entertainment, the film’s producers are Kevin Hart, Bryan Smiley, Patricia Braga and Luke Kelly-Clyne for Hartbeat, along with Jonathan Gray, Matthew Rhodes and Kristy Grisham for The Hideaway. Ty Walker and Kevin Healey are exec producing for Hartbeat, along with Ryan Cassells for The Hideaway. Jen Cox serves as co-producer, with production to kick off this summer.
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“‘Can You Hear Me?’ furthers Hartbeat’s commitment to investing in independent features and new genres,” the company’s Chief Content Officer, Smiley, told Deadline. “We’re excited to work with The Hideaway Entertainment team, along with Taylor, Luke, and Dean, to bring this project to life.”
Added The Hideaway’s President, Rhodes, “We are truly excited to partner with Hartbeat and maintain our dedication to making original stories in the independent film arena. Dean Israelite has an exceptional vision and is crafting a smart, character-driven, and forward-thinking movie that will transcend to audiences worldwide.”
Most recently, Israelite completed the John Gatins-scripted Little Wing, Paramount+’s coming-of-age film from Awesomeness, which adapts a New Yorker article by Susan Orlean. Starring in the pic, coming up for release later in the year, are Brian Cox, Kelly Reilly and Brooklynn Prince. Previously, Israelite helmed Saban’s Power Rangers for Lionsgate and Project Almanac for Paramount, garnering acclaim for his work on the kids series Are You Afraid Of The Dark? and The Astronauts. Currently developing sci-fi thriller Tartarus starring John Boyega and Amblin thriller Minotaur, he’s also attached to the spy thriller Rogue for STXfilms, with David Goyer and Keith Levine producing.
Hartbeat is coming off of production on Matthew Loren Oates’s alien invasion pic Xeno, and the teen comedy Prom Dates, produced with American High for Hulu. Other recent projects from the company include the crime actioner Lift from F. Gary Gray, which bowed on Netflix in January, and the streamer’s behind-the-scenes comedy tour doc Kevin Hart & Chris Rock: Headliners Only.
Other upcoming projects for The Hideaway on the film side include sci-fi action comedy Level Up, Alone at Dawn (fka Combat Control), based on the same-name New York Times bestseller, and civil rights drama Freedom Ride. Following the launch of the company’s television division, it set an adaptation of the book For Those I Love by Martin Gray and Max Gallo as its first limited series.
Israelite is represented by WME, Artists First, and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole; Hopkins by Verve, Dash Aiken & Rock Shaink of Romark, and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; and Kelly-Clyne by UTA, Heroes & Villains Entertainment, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum. Christian Simonds, partner at Reed Smith, represented The Hideaway Entertainment in the deal, with General Counsel Candisse Williamson repping Hartbeat.
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