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Under Your Spell: 'The Hurt Locker' Backers Voltage Productions Acquire Heist Actioner 'The Driver'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 16, 2011 at 9:44AM

"Drive" might not have made too many waves at the box office, or swept the awards circuit (although it's doing rather better than expected), but it has been a critical favorite, and shows all the signs of being a cult classic, and the kind of movie that will be endlessly copied over the next few years. Indeed, we shudder to think of the number of film school students currently working on shorts with big gaudy retro fonts and French electro scores.
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The Driver

"Drive" might not have made too many waves at the box office, or swept the awards circuit (although it's doing rather better than expected), but it has been a critical favorite, and shows all the signs of being a cult classic, and the kind of movie that will be endlessly copied over the next few years. Indeed, we shudder to think of the number of film school students currently working on shorts with big gaudy retro fonts and French electro scores.

And already, we're seeing the first sign of similar projects doing the rounds, with The Hollywood Reporter bringing news that Voltage Productions, who were behind Oscar-winner "The Hurt Locker" and Robert Redford's upcoming "The Company You Keep," are teaming up with relatively new company Solipsist Films (next year's Helen Hunt vehicle "Decoding Annie Parker") to pick up a spec script named, yes, "The Driver," from newcomers Spenser Cohen and Zach Luna.

In fairness, it doesn't sound particularly related to either Nicolas Winding Refn's film, or the Walter Hill picture of the same name (itself a major influence on "Drive"), instead revolving around a suburban man who's forced to being the getaway driver for a gang of seemingly randomly assembled criminals (maybe a little "Usual Suspects" in the mix as well). But we're sure the acclaim for "Drive" has helped the film get picked, particularly if, as we suspect, this is a more commercial, less head-stomping proposition.

Cohen, who recently graduated from USC film school, will also direct, having wowed producers with a visual presentation alongside his pitch, and the project is going right on the fast track, with casting expected to start in the new year. At this point, it's hard to guess how this'll turn out, without knowing Cohen's track record, but fortunately, we've found his USC senior thesis film, "Shattered," which you can watch below. What do we think, is Cohen the next big thing?

This article is related to: The Driver, Spenser Cohen, Zach Luna


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