Veteran producer Edward R. Pressman has optioned the rights to Archaia Entertainment’s graphic novel Feeding Ground.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, a former personal assistant to such directors as Martin Scorsese and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and now burgeoning director, is set to helm the horror thriller, and Carlos Coto has been tapped adapt it for the screen.
Created by Swifty Lang, Michael Lapinski and Chris Mangun, the story tells of an illegal immigrant trafficker -- a “coyote,” in cross-border parlance -- who is forced to smuggle his own family into America after his young brother runs afoul of a local gangster. With the cartel on his heels and U.S. Border Patrol agents bearing down from the other side, the family is trapped in the no-man’s land known as the Devil’s Highway and discovers the entire party is being stalked by supernatural creatures.
Feeding Ground was published as a hardcover graphic novel last year to strong reviews and is one of the few to be released simultaneously in English and Spanish.
To keep an authentic air, much of the dialogue from the Latino characters will be in Spanish, with the American side speaking English.
“Feeding Ground is an intense and terrifying thriller with a subtle but pointed commentary on immigration in modern America,” said Pressman. “The graphic novel is so cinematic in nature — as soon as I read it, I knew we could make a film that would resonate with a wide audience.”
Pressman Film COO Jon Katz, Archaia’s Stephen Christy and PJ Bickett will serve as executive producers. Also exec producing will be Jason Carpenter, a former Pressman staffer who brought the property to the company. Stephen Cavaliero is serving as a co-producer.
Gomez-Rejon hails from the border town of Laredo, Texas, and served as an assistant to Nora Ephron and Robert De Niro as well as Scorsese and Inarritu. He then evolved to second unit directing, working on films such as Babel, Eat Pray Love and the upcoming Argo before moving into directing. He has helmed episodes of Glee and American Horror Story. Gomez-Rejon is repped by WME and Kleinberg Lange.
Coto, repped by CAA and Morris Yorn, is a key writer-producer on The CW's action show Nikita and was a writer-producer on such shows as 24, Heroes and The Dead Zone, among others.
Pressman's credits include the original Conan the Barbarian, Das Boot, Wall Street, The Crow and American Psycho. He is working on a reinvention of The Crow, to be written by Jesse Wigutow and directed by Javier Gutierrez, as well as a retelling of the seminal action flick Bloodsport, being written by Robert Kamen and to be directed by Phillip Noyce.