Maria Bakalova, the Oscar-nominated star of “Borat Subsequent Movie Film,” is set to star in the action-comedy “My Masterpiece” for Sylvester Stallone and Braden Aftergood’s Balboa Productions. Cassandra Brooksbank will make her feature directorial debut from a script by Jason Hellerman. The Veterans and CAA Media Finance will introduce the film to buyers at Cannes this week.
According to the official description, “My Masterpiece” follows a hitwoman hellbent on dismantling an unfair system within her industry, but she gets stuck on the second floor of an office building after she takes vengeance on a corporate overlord. That means she has to fight her way through fellow murderers and her past to ensure justice prevails. If all goes well, this might just be her masterpiece.
More from Variety
Production is expected to begin in fall 2023 in Canada. The Veterans are handling international sales. CAA Media Finance represents domestic distribution rights.
After her scene-stealing turn in the sequel to “Borat,” Baklava has had starring roles in the comedy “Bodies Bodies Bodies” and the coming-of-age drama “Fairyland.” She is also the voice of Cosmo the Spacedog in “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
Founded in 2018 by Stallone and Aftergood, Balboa Productions’ recent releases include Prime Video’s Stallone-led superhero film “Samaritan” and the hit television series “Tulsa King” for Paramount+. Stallone also has a docuseries featuring his family that recently launched on Paramount+ and up next has the newest installment of the hit action franchise “The Expendables.” The latter will open in August from Lionsgate. There’s also a second season of “Tulsa King.” Currently, the company is in post-production on the feature adaptation of “Lost on a Mountain in Maine,” a young adult survival story based on the true account of a boy’s harrowing journey through the vast wilderness of the Katahdin Mountains. Balboa Productions is prepping the genre film, “Scavenger Hunt,” written and directed by Elle Callahan for MGM/Amazon.
Brooksbank began her career as a commercial director, creating ad campaigns for companies such as Pepsi, Unilever, Ford, Barclays, Porsche, P&G, Sony, Microsoft, Chevrolet, Frito Lay and Dodge. She has also directed several music videos, including Todrick Hall’s music video feature film, “Forbidden.” Most recently, her spot for the Barclays Super League was awarded the grand jury at the Sport Industry Awards.
Hellerman is a film and television writer whose screenplay, “Shovel Buddies,” made the top ten of the 2013 Black List and debuted at SXSW in 2016. His latest feature spec, “Himbo,” appeared on the 2022 Black List.
The Veterans, a joint venture between Goodfellas and MadRiver Pictures, is a foreign sales and distribution company. Led by international sales vets Vincent Maraval and Kimberly Fox, The Veterans has facilitated successful international distribution on films such as “Wind River,” “The Gentlemen,” and “Plane.”
Bakalova is repped by CAA, Brookside Artist Management, Insight Management & Production, and Yorn, Levine, Barnes, Krintzman, Rubenstein, Kohner, Endlich & Gellman. Stallone and Balboa Productions are represented by CAA. Brooksbank is represented by CAA and Color Creative. Hellerman is represented by Atlas Literary and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopherson.
Best of Variety