Jacob Elordi (Euphoria, The Kissing Booth, Parallel) and award-winning actor Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Franchise, The Boys In the Band, American Horror Story) are set to star in the road trip crime thriller HE WENT THAT WAY.
Set in 1964, the film is based on the extraordinary true story of a road trip, the strange bonding and unique deal making between a serial-killer in the midst of a spree, an animal handler down on his luck and Zippy the TV chimpanzee.
World-renowned commercial director Jeffrey Darling makes his feature debut from a script by Independent Spirit award-nominated writer Evan M. Wiener. The producing team combines leading creatives from both the commercial and feature film world including: Marc Benardout (Sinner), James Harris (Welcome to Raccoon City: Resident Evil) and Mark Lane (47 Meters Down) of Teashop Productions, Hugh Broder (Emoticon;)), and Jeremy Kotin (Blood Stripe) with Phil Hunt of Head Gear Films and recently formed Bohemia Media, which amplifies marginalised voices, is executive producing.
HE WENT THAT WAY is based on the strange but true crime story of celebrity animal trainer Dave Pitts and his famous TV chimp, Spanky, centerpiece of the traveling extravaganza The Ice Capades in the sixties, and his fateful three-day encounter with the serial killer Larry Lee Ranes.
The film is inspired by Conrad Hilberry’s book “Luke Karamazov” and the real life account from Dave Pitts, the sole survivor of Larry’s killing spree.
Zippy the chimp, based on Spanky, will be a fusion of a suited character actor , and cutting-edge animatronics created by Legacy Effects which has provided creature design and animatronics to some of the biggest blockbuster films and commercial campaigns including “The Shape of Water,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Jurassic World,” “X-Men: Apocalypse,” “The Revenant,” “Avatar,” and recent Marvel releases “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and “Godzilla: King of Monsters.”
Director Jeffrey Darling stated: “He Went That Way is a undoubtedly a journey of curious tensions and bonds between two and at times three interesting characters all on their own path. A cinematic tale on the road across the US in the early 60’s where people come with a rawness forged from the landscapes they inhabit. It is for our two leads Jacob and Zachary as well as myself, a great opportunity to explore with an improvised sensibility.”
Mister Smith Entertainment’s David Garrett stated: “the screenplay is a heady mix of menacing, funny and emotional and, with Jeffrey’s incomparable visual genius, we anticipate this will be a unique and darkly thrilling road trip experience for audiences around the world.”
Zachary Quinto, who portrays Jim Goodwin (based on celebrity animal handler Dave Pitts), is an award-winning film, television and stage actor who gained a global fan base for his portrayal of Spock in the “Star Trek” film franchise reboot. Quinto’s credits include the feature adaptation of the acclaimed play “The Boys In The Band” for Netflix, the award-winning play “Angel’s In America,” and the critically acclaimed feature “Margin Call,” which he also produced. Quinto starred in the popular TV series: “Heroes,” and “24.” and had a recurring role in the award-winning television show, “American Horror Story.” Quinto is represented by William Morris Endeavour Entertainment (WME), and Untitled Management.Jacob Elordi, who portrays serial killer Bobby Falls (based on Larry Lee Ranes), stars in the Netflix franchise “The Kissing Booth,” and garnered international attention as Nate Jacobs in the award-winning television series “Euphoria.” His upcoming features include: “Deep Water” opposite Ben Affleck and Ana de Amas. Elordi was recently announced as the lead in the upcoming Legendary sci-fi feature Parallel. Elordi is repped by Gersh, Fourward, Nicky Gluyas Management, Viewpoint and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher, LLP.
Director Jeffrey Darling, whose work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) NYC, is one of the world’s most successful and sought after commercial directors with over 150 commercials for leading brands attracting over 70 international awards. Early in his career, Darling was youngest person to earn the Australian Film Institute’s Best Achievement in Cinematography for his work on the feature film The Crossing starring Russell Crowe. After making the transition to directing, Darling was included in the “Best New Directors in the World” Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival, and Kodak recognized his contribution to excellence in Cinematography with three honorary awards. Darling’s first short feature, “Page 73”, won the World Medal at the New York Festivals – 39th Festival international advertising awards.
Writer Evan M. Wiener was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for co-writing the film “Monogamy,” released nationally by Oscilloscope Films and winner of top honors at the Tribeca Film Festival. His first play, “Captors” was a Boston Globe “critic’s pick,” subsequently receiving a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Wiener’s TV pilot “The Fence” was optioned by Fox TV Studios, and his film “Big Sky,” starring Kyra Sedgwick and Bella Thorne, was released theatrically by eOne and then Netflix. He has also written for Sony Pictures, First Look Films, and such Oscar- nominated producers as Laurence Mark, Lee Daniels, and Michael DeLuca. Projects in development include a thriller for director Gregg Araki and an urban drama with legendary filmmaker Larry Clark.