[Update 11.20.17, 2:55 p.m.: Brian Oliver’s New Republic Pictures has struck a mid-six-figure preemptive deal for Green Rush after teaming with producer Will Packer on the project. New Republic’s John Hilary Shepherd brought the script into the company and will oversee its development. Our earlier story is below.]
If you’ve driven around Los Angeles in the past few years, you know the city is teeming with medical marijuana dispensaries, many of which pay their property taxes in cash each month since medical marijuana is still technically illegal under federal law. That’s a lot of cash being trucked down to City Hall, which makes it a prime target for thieves.
That’s basically the premise of a hot new spec from Matt Tente titled Green Rush, which is attracting some solid buzz around town. While the official logline is being kept under wraps, Green Rush is described as a dramatic heist thriller set in the medical marijuana industry. Imagine Hell or High Water in an urban setting, and with a father-daughter dynamic instead of two brothers.
We’re told that one of the protagonists in the script went to prison for 12 years for selling weed, and when he gets out in 2017, it’s now legal, and people are making millions doing what he used to do. However, because he has a felony conviction on his record, he’s unable to get a legitimate job in the medical marijuana industry, which forces him to take drastic measures.
There are obviously a lot of projects set in weed dispensaries, but they’re all workplace comedies, a la Kathy Bates’ Netflix series Disjointed. But a heist movie set in the medical marijuana industry? Now that’s interesting, and as the saying goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Producers have been lining up ever since territories started being assigned. Will Packer Productions is taking the script into Universal, Netflix, Paramount Players, Sony/Columbia, TriStar and Screen Gems, while Unique Features is into Lionsgate, MACRO and QC Entertainment, which is the company behind Get Out.
There are no elements attached to the project and Tente doesn’t have an agent, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see him land one as Green Rush picks up steam in the marketplace. His previous script, Burn Run, appeared on the 2016 Black List, while his other spec, Ride Share, is set up at WWE Studios. Before embarking on a writing career, Tente worked for writer-director Scott Cooper, the filmmaker behind Black Mass and the forthcoming Christian Bale movie Hostiles.
Tente is represented by Jeff Portnoy at Bellevue Productions, and this is expected to be the last new script he shops in 2017. So, you could say he’s trying to end the year on a “high” note. We wish him and Tente the best of luck. Stay tuned…
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief