SCREENMANCER Press Pick-up: SUPREME RULER, put together by some friends we know here at Screenmancer, is set to star Ron Livingstone (The Conjuring, The 5th Wave, Office Space), Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World, The Magnificent Seven, Run All Night), Minnie Driver (Jekyll Island, About A Boy TV series, An Idea Husband, Good Will Hunting), Peyton List (Jessie TV Series), Billy Zane (Zoolander 2, Titanic, Phantom), Anthony Anderson (Transformers, Barber Shop, The Departed, Me, Myself and Irene), Brian Geraghty (Jarhead, The Hurt Locker, Flight), and Natalie Zea (Detour TV series). Produced in North America, this unique project is about a man who campaigns to become the leader of his Buffalo lodge in the vein of ‘Election’-meets-‘FARGO’. Written by acclaimed writer Frederick Mensch (also founder of site MovieBytes), the coming together of this film for production has been widely anticipated. Mensch wrote HBO’s well-received project Nightingale, starring David Oyelowo, who was nommed by the Golden Globes 2016 (plus other nods), and the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2015. Directed by awarding-winning director/producer Duane Edwards (Hit and Run, The Confession, The Contest Winner, Imagine This), the film’s plot is kind of unusual and compelling as a character-driven male-starrer. SUPREME RULER, a dramatic satire, focuses on a middle-aged, small town go-getter named Steve Loomis (Ron Livingstone), whose life revolves around the activities of his local Buffalo lodge. Steve looks forward to being elected “Supreme Ruler” of the lodge. However, as with all plot twists, he is unexpectedly challenged for the position by a hard-drinking, womanizing, older member of the club named Hank Dory (Vincent D’Onofrio).
[WARNING: Spoiler Alerts Follow.] Faced with the uncertain outcome of a contested election — much like the hullabaloo around this year’s US Presidential Election — Steve decides to win the support of the Order’s national leaders by attending the Buffalo National Convention in Chicago. Unfortunately, Steve’s earnest commitment to Order’s sacred principles of Fidelity, Brotherhood, Justice and Compassion aren’t as compelling to the national Grand Supreme Rulers as Hank’s good ole boy charisma. Discouraged and deeply offended by Hank’s indifference to the Sacred Principles of the Order, Steve files charges against him, accusing Hank of “Conduct Unbecoming a Buffalo” for an affair he’s having with the wife of Cal Haney, another member of the lodge.
A local lodge Tribunal is scheduled for the Sacred Hour of Midnight, when — according to the lore of the Order — the truth must be spoken. Naturally, the Tribunal’s Presiding Judge is an old buddy of Hank’s, and the charges are dismissed. In an embarrassing landslide, Steve loses the election for Supreme Ruler. Despite this devastating blow, Steve refuses to turn his back on the Order, and even offers his congratulations to Hank, who is suddenly approached by Cal Haney, waving a gun. Steve tries to step between them, but Cal, consumed by bitterness over Hank’s affair with his wife, brandishes a gun as he shouts the Sacred Principles of the Order: “Fidelity, Brotherhood, Justice, Compassion!” Steve is shot in the shoulder as he tries to protect Hank, who falls wounded to the floor.
The film will be shot on location in Chicago. Producers include: Max Czertok for EMovies, (known for Swelter and Walking to Paris) Duane Edwards for The King Productions, (known for Cold Blood (2008), Motives & Murders: Cracking the Case (2012) and Urban Legends (2007). Executive Producers are Carol Bidault and Andrea Giannattasio for EMovies. SUPREME RULER is being presented to buyers at 69th Cannes International Film Festival by Phoenix Worldwide Entertainment, also handling worldwide sales on the film.
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