A Hollywood super team rivaling any in the sports world has officially been assembled as star NFL quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, NBA all-star guard Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, retired NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, and retired NBA all-star Michael Finley have become partners in Argent Pictures, the Los Angeles based film production and financing outfit founded by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens and Ben Renzo.
Brees, Parker, Brooks, and Finley have all quietly built up impressive credits as movie producers over the last few years and are now active partners in Argent Pictures after collaborating with the company, independently, on single picture projects.
Together, the Argent team has been involved with some of the most acclaimed independent films of the last 18 months including the recently released “American Made” starring Tom Cruise (Paramount); Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” (Fox Searchlight); Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” (Lionsgate), for which Argent funded the P&A, and the Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary “Chasing Coral” (Netflix).
Additional film collaborations have included the critically acclaimed “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”; the hit comedy/horror “Meet the Blacks”; the drama “The Benefactor” starring Richard Gere; the crime/drama “LUV” starring Common; “Gleason” – the moving and inspirational documentary on NFL player Steve Gleason and his battle with ALS; and Universal Pictures adventure/thriller “Sanctum.”
Upcoming movie collaborations include the action/thriller “Nomis” starring Alexandra Daddario, Henry Cavill and Ben Kingsley; Rob Reiner’s drama “Shock & Awe” starring Jessica Biel and Woody Harrelson; the next two installments of Sylvester Stallone’s “Escape Plan” franchise (“Escape Plan 2 and 3”) and “First to do it” – a documentary about the first African American professional Basketball player, Earl Lloyd.
Argent Pictures most recently optioned the remake rights to “The Good Time Girls,” and has committed to financing and producing the feature adaptation of Courtney Hoffman’s blood-soaked western revenge short film.
The all-star quartet (Brees, Parker, Finley, Brooks) have come onboard as active producers to film projects currently on Argent Pictures’ development slate. Argent will continue to develop/finance/produce anywhere from three to six projects a year, with a mandate to serve as a top-tier supplier of mainstream projects for both the studios and major independent distributors worldwide.
Budget ranges of the films on the Argent slate will vary depending on the size and scope of the individual projects, but the company remains highly flexible. Above the financing of material, the company will be devoted to fostering an artist-friendly environment for top filmmakers and talent and willing to explore powerful stories featuring inter-cultural concepts.
Argent CEO Ben Renzo said, “Having worked with Mike, Drew, Tony and Derrick for many years on their entertainment endeavors, not only have they become good friends but our collective experience in the entertainment industry has been very rewarding and successful. As a group, we have supported filmmakers of all statures, by getting behind their vision in the most collaborative sense possible. We felt strongly that uniting as a formalized team under Argent would provide us greater reach to source and attract the best stories and storytellers, and enhance our ability to efficiently develop, finance and produce more films than ever before. We are truly grateful and humbled to grow the Argent family with such quality individuals who are dedicated to using their experience, influence, and resources to help Argent become an elite film finance and production company.”
“What attracted me to Argent is that it is a company that puts material first and will develop and explore original and unique themes and subject matters that can be fully exploited,” said Brooks. “We have collectively developed a solid business strategy encompassing a diverse portfolio of projects, which I am very excited to help get off the ground and shepherd.”
“For me, being in the film business is about being able to tell stories and having a viable vehicle to do so,” said Brees. “We are all inspired by stories with motivating messages yet are highly entertaining. Within Argent, we have by design, an expansive and efficient network through which we can identify and pursue the best projects and material and collaborate with any filmmakers around the globe to build a diverse slate. I am thrilled to be a part of the Argent family.”
Said Parker, “I’ve known Ben for a while and have tremendous respect for the approach and dedication to the business that he, Jill and Ryan exhibit. I am excited to be aligned with great like-minded partners who will aggressively pursue development material that we’re excited to finance and produce.”
Said Finley, “Ben, Jill, and Ryan are incredibly savvy producers and I have a great deal of admiration and respect for their track record of finding tremendous material and shepherding it through to the big screen. Beyond the impressive credits and history of success, what makes this attractive is that we share a common vision – not just on taste and preferences of films, but on the execution of a partnership that will bring high quality, very entertaining films to the marketplace.”