Gunpowder & Sky Announces Screenwriters, Director for “Eat, Brains, Love”


Director Rodman Flender Joins Former “One Tree Hill” and “Hindsight” Writing Team Mike Herro and David Strauss to Adapt Teen Zombie Thriller 

LOS ANGELES – August 9, 2017 – Gunpowder & Sky, the global content studio, along with DIGA Studios and Full Fathom Five announced today that Rodman Flender has signed on to direct, with writing / producing team Mike Herro and David Strauss also signed on to write the film adaptation of Jeff Hart’s zombie road trip novel, Eat, Brains, Love

Herro and Strauss launched their career during the first season of One Tree Hill, and remained with the show for the entire run of the series before being promoted to Co-Executive Producers. After nine seasons, they joined the staff of CW’s Reign in its freshman season before moving on to VH1's critically acclaimed series Hindsight as Co-Executive Producers. Most recently, the team served as Co-Executive Producers on E!’s first original scripted series The Royals.

“With years of experience writing and producing successful series across multiple networks, both Mike and David were a natural fit for Eat, Brains, Love,” said Van Toffler, CEO of Gunpowder & Sky. “The film is saturated in teen drama, um…sex and high school zombies - so what better writing team to adapt that story than the team who spent years writing the best teen dramas on television.”

Flender comes from a comedy and genre background, which seamlessly translates into what he is working with on Eat, Brains, Love. He directed the Columbia Pictures release Idle Hands, “Tales from the Crypt” for HBO and MTV’s reboot of the Scream franchise. He also directed the hit NBC series “The Office” and the documentary, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. He got his start working with Roger Corman directing titles such as The Unborn and In the Heat of Passion.

“Herro and Strauss did a fantastic job adapting the source material; the script retains the core DNA of what attracted us to the book, while at the same time creating something fresh and new, injecting into it their truly unique voice,” said Tony DiSanto, DIGA Studios CEO. “I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Rodman in the past on episodes of Scream, and had been a fan prior to that. He is a director with a clear vision and passion for the material. We’re thrilled to have this combination of great talent behind this film.”

Gunpowder & Sky first announced that they had signed an exclusive deal with DIGA Studios, an independent production studio founded by former MTV President Tony DiSanto, and Full Fathom Five to develop Eat, Brains, Love in February 2016.

The first in a two-part book series, Eat, Brains, Love is touted as a “heartwarming and bloody blend of romance and deadpan humor” and filled with laughs, heart—and brains.

With Flender, Herro and Strauss on board, the film is now actively casting to help set the stage as they go into production.

The good news: Jake’s dream girl, Amanda Blake finally knows his name.

The bad news: It is because they both contracted a mysterious zombie virus and devoured the brains of half their senior class.  Now Jake and Amanda are on the run from Cass, a teen psychic sent by the government’s top-secret Necrotic Control Division to track them down.  As Jake and Amanda deal with the existential guilt of eating their best friends and set off in search of a cure for the zombie virus, Cass struggles with a growing psychic dilemma of her own – one that will lead all three of them on an epic journey across the country and make them question what it means to truly be alive. Or undead.

Gunpowder & Sky is an award-winning independent global studio, dedicated to creating, marketing and distributing video content unrestricted by form, genre or platform. Gunpowder & Sky collaborates with both emerging and established talent to generate premium video content ranging from 90-second to 90-minute stories on all platforms. With in-house development, production, marketing and distribution capabilities, the company operates as a full 360-studio and oversees a library of over 1500 titles.
Working with numerous creative partners such as Hyde Park, Blumhouse, Caviar, DIGA Studios, Full Fathom Five, Bona Fide Productions, Adaptive Studios and Den of Thieves, with investments and strategic partnerships with leading social video studios Cut and Shareability, Gunpowder & Sky has recently released or launched projects including Spotify’s most viewed series Drawn & Recorded, the Herbalife exposé documentary, Betting on Zero, which debuted as the number one Documentary in the iTunes storemulti-platform sci-fi destination, DUST, and Ben Young’s Hounds of Love which just won the Overlook Film Festival’s Jury and Audience Awards for Best Feature with Emma Booth winning Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival.
Upcoming projects include Jeff Baena’s (I Heart HuckabeesThe Little Hours, starring Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, Jemima Kirke and Nick Offerman, the film adaption of Jeff Hart’s novel Eat, Brains, Love, Sarah Benincasa’s DC Trip, Summer of 84 with award-winning directors RKSS, and the Jackass-style, next generation stunt series, Too Stupid To Die.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in NY and London, Gunpowder & Sky was founded by Van Toffler, Floris Bauer and Otter Media, a joint venture of AT&T and The Chernin Group.

Writing team Mike Herro and David Strauss launched their career on the first season of One Tree Hill. They remained with the show for the entire run of the series, eventually rising to Co-Executive Producers in the #2 slot. After season nine, they joined the staff of Reign in its' inaugural season, then became Co-Executive Producers on VH1's critically acclaimed series Hindsight, served as Co-Executive Producers on The Royals on E!, and most recently, as Consulting Producers on the upcoming series American Woman on Paramount Network.

Rodman Flender is a director, writer, actor and producer who cut his professional filmmaking teeth under independent movie king Roger Corman. Flender graduated from New York’s High School of Performing Arts and studied acting at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.  His acting career included appearances on Broadway and off, with stints at Playwright’s Horizons and Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival.  Acting took to a back seat to directing, however, when Flender studied documentary filmmaking at Harvard University with Ed Pincus and Ross McElwee.  After graduating from Harvard, Roger Corman offered Flender a job and an opportunity he couldn’t refuse. Flender moved into fiction filmmaking as Corman’s Head of Production, producing 23 movies in two years, including such colorful titles as Demon of Paradise and Stripped to Kill.  Flender soon became a short-order writer (Roger Corman’s Dracula Rising), editor and trailer-director for Corman’s studio. His feature-directing career was launched with the Corman-produced thriller The Unborn.  
Flender continued to write and direct horror, thriller, and comedy feature films.  After helming the Columbia Pictures release Idle Hands, Flender moved back into cinema vérité with the award-winning documentary Let Them Eat Rock. Between feature films, Flender has become a busy director of television. His TV pilots include the WB’s My Guide to Becoming A Rock Star and his episodic credits include multiple episodes of HBO’s Tales From The Crypt, MTV's Scream, Ugly BettyParty of Five and The Office, among many others. 
Flender’s most recent feature was a return to documentary.  When Conan O’Brien abruptly parted ways with NBC and “The Tonight Show,” he quickly put a live show together and took it across the country.  Flender captured the emotional roller-coaster of O’Brien’s experiences as he assembled and performed this show in Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop.  The film premiered at SXSW to great acclaim. 

DIGA is a full service, platform-agnostic content studio working across a wide array of genres and media.  Founded by former MTV President, Tony DiSanto, DIGA’s brand is built on creative diversity, genre-busting, talent development and a rebellious - sometimes subversive - pop-sensibility.  DIGA’s goal is to bring ideas to life by any means necessary, from the traditional scripted and reality development process, to digital incubation of concepts, to acquisitions of IP/titles or the creation of original IPs through its book division for later adaptation to other media, to a variety of creative and business partnerships with talent, studios, media companies and even other production companies.  There are no “rules.”  The path taken is that which best serves the needs of a particular project. DIGA series include Scream and Teen Wolf (MTV), Say it in Song (MTV International), The Ed Bassmaster Show (CMT), Mac Lethal’s Binge Thinking (MTV2) and the new comedy series, Sorry Not Sorry (go90).  DIGA’s book division - which will generate original IP for scripted adaptations - has secured a three-book deal with Macmillan Publishing under the umbrella title of High School Horror. The first book, Teen Frankenstein by author Chandler Baker, launched in January 2016 to strong reviews and sales, and the second installment, Teen Hyde, hit stores in 2017.  DIGA is currently working on the scripted adaptation of the series. 

Full Fathom Five is an integrated media and production company founded by acclaimed author James Frey (A Million Little Pieces, Bright Shiny Morning). Since its formation in 2010, the company has been behind multiple #1 New York Times Best Sellers, a #1 film, a #1 DVD, and a #1 film download. The company’s latest book, Sky Key, is the follow-up to the global best seller Endgame: The Calling. It’s latest television series-“The Kicks” for Amazon Prime based upon the company’s best-selling book series by soccer star Alex Morgan, and “American Gothic” for CBS in partnership with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television- are set to premiere later this year. Full Fathom Five's new digital series “Relationship Status” has been selected to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016 as part of their inaugural Digital Creators program. 


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