Producing partners Chad A. Verdi and Noah Kraft attach writer/director Ben Younger (Boiler Room, Prime) to helm their upcoming feature "PAZ" Film to be released by Verdi Productions with principal photography set for September 2012
EAST GREENWICH, RI - January 19, 2012 - Producers Chad A. Verdi and Noah Kraft have attached writer/director Ben Younger to helm their next feature, "PAZ." The film, which is set for production in September of 2012, tells the true life comeback story of Rhode Island boxer Vinny (The Pazmanian Devil) Pazienza, the world champion fighter who broke his neck in a near fatal car accident, only to come back and win three more world titles after he was told he'd never walk again.
Verdi, a close personal friend of Pazienza's, knew he had to buy the life rights after reading an article that claimed Pazienza's return to the ring was the greatest comeback in sports history. "It just clicked," said Verdi. "This is what films are made about, and we couldn't be happier Ben has joined us. He is the perfect fit for the project and shares our vision for how amazing this film can be."
Younger, who wrote and directed Boiler Room (Ben Affleck, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel) and Prime (Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, Brian Greenberg) will be joining PAZ after writing Formula One, a $150M racing film penned for Warner Brothers. According to the NYT article on the Formula One project, " Tobey Maguire , the actor, and directors Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard have all been attached to a Formula One project."
In addition to directing, Younger will also do a full rewrite of PAZ in order to guide the narrative, explaining, " I feel lucky to be able to tell one of the most exciting non-fictional sports stories I've ever come across. Vinny Pazienza's story is inexplicably unknown and we are greatly looking forward to changing that." Younger added, "I'm very excited to be working with Verdi Productions. It's rare when the producer is also the sole financier of a film, though the result is a creative freedom any filmmaker would kill for."
Verdi and Kraft, who specialize in comeback stories, have filmed and sold three feature films in 2010 and 2011, the latest of which, entitled Loosies (Peter Facinelli, Michael Madsen, Vincent Gallo, Joe Pantoliano, and Jaimie Alexander) hit theaters on January 11 th, 2012. This fast-paced romantic drama was released by IFC Films in NYC and will expand into nine more territories over the weekend. (For more information please see the review by the NYT's head film critic, Manohla Dargis:http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/movies/loosies-with-peter-facinelli-review.html).
Mr. Verdi, who has financed his previous three films and will be financing the PAZ project himself, ended by saying, "In this down economy, with all the problems Americans are facing, we all need to be reminded that with determination, love and support, anything is possible. The inspirational PAZ story does just that."
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