April 29, 2010


Shia LaBeouf has signed on to lead Dante Ariola’s “romantic actioner” The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.  Written by Matt Drake, Countryman centers on Charlie (LaBeouf), a charming gent who falls in love with a girl who’s past association with an “insanely violent crime boss with a gang of thugs at his disposal,” proves slightly hazardous to Charlie’s health. However, Charlie’s willingness to keep getting his ass kicked in an attempt to woo Gabi may lead him to having his heart literally broken.

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman will be the feature film debut of Ariola, whose previous work includes commercials for Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Nike, HP, and PlayStation.  Drake’s script for Countryman was on the 2007 Black List (list of the best unproduced screenplay in Hollywood).  LaBeouf will next be seen in theaters this September in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  Hit the jump to read the full press release.

shia_labeouf_04.jpgHere’s the official press release:


Award Winning Commercial Director Dante Ariola to Direct the Romantic Actioner from Screenwriter Matt Drake

Award Winning Producers Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa and William Horberg Will Produce

Los Angeles (April 29, 2010) – Shia LaBeouf, one of Hollywood’s most sought after young actors, will star in THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN for Mandate Pictures. Dante Ariola will direct the romantic actioner from an original screenplay by Matt Drake. Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa of Bona Fide Productions will produce along with William Horberg.  Dean Parisot and Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce.  Bona Fide’s Carlo Martinelli will serve as a co-producer.   Lawrence Grey will oversee the project on behalf of the company.  Mandate has the film on the fast track toward a fall 2010 production. Lionsgate is launching international sales in Cannes next month.

SYNOPSIS: Charlie Countryman (LaBeouf) was just a normal guy…until he fell in love with the one girl who will probably get him killed.  When Charlie meets the absolutely irresistible Gabi she’s already been claimed by Nigel, an insanely violent crime boss with a gang of thugs at his disposal.  Armed with little more than his wit and naïve charm, Charlie endures one bruising beat down after another to woo Gabi and keep her out of harm’s way.  Finally his exploits of blind valor create such a mess that he’s left with only one way out; to save the girl of his dreams, must Charlie Countryman die?

Coming off of the success of the TRANSFORMERS and INDIANA JONES franchises, LaBeouf was recently seen alongside Julie Christie in NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU. He will next appear in WALL STREET 2: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS, Oliver Stone’s follow up to the 1987 hit WALL STREET which will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2010. He is currently in production on TRANSFORMERS 3 for DreamWorks. LaBeouf is represented by CAA, John Crosby Management and attorney Matthew Saver.

Dante Ariola is a five-time DGA Award nominee and won the prestigious title of DGA Commercial Director of the Year in 2007. He has directed commercials for Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Nike, HP, and Sony Playstation, among others.  Ariola is represented by UTA and attorney Warren Dern.

Matt Drake’s ‘CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN’ screenplay was featured on the 2007 Black List.  Drake is currently writing PROJECT X for Todd Phillips (Green Hat Films) and Joel Silver (Silver Pictures).  PROJECT X project marks the first feature Phillips will produce under his banner at Warner Bros.  Previously, Drake co-wrote TULLY with Hilary Birmingham.  The film was nominated for four Independent Spirit awards including Best Screenplay and Best Feature.  Drake is represented by Original Artists.

Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa are the duo behind ELECTION and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.  The producers recently teamed with Mandate on THE SWITCH, which will be released by Miramax Films on August 20, 2010.  They are represented by CAA and attorney Linda Lichter of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman, Inc.

William Horberg, principal of Wonderful Films, is the producer of the recent DEATH AT A FUNERAL, as well as THE KITE RUNNER and, with Berger and Yerxa, Anthony Minghella’s COLD MOUNTAIN.  Horberg is represented by attorney Nina Shaw at Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.

Dan Freedman, Mandate’s SVP of business affairs, negotiated the deals for the company.

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