Written by coolshades
Celebrated this season for his role as theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly in Denis Villeneuve’s brainy sci-fi film Arrival, alongside friend and frequent collaborator Amy Adams, two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner this year hopes to bring attention to another, lesser-known role, as a producer on John Lee Hancock’s Ray Kroc biopic The Founder. In the case of Arrival, Renner saw a terrific leading role for Adams, and hoped only to offer support; with The Weinstein Company’s winter release, though—which premiered last night—the actor found himself venturing into new territory.
Working alongside longtime friend Don Handfield, Renner several years ago founded The Combine, a production company geared toward developing material for Renner to star in, and material that would stand on its own. In contrast to Kill the Messenger, the pair’s first producing credit, The Founder is the latter—starring Michael Keaton as Kroc, the man who claims to be The Founder, the picture approaches the biopic genre from a different angle, telling a classic American success story, with a hard edge. Speaking with Deadline, with Handfield chiming in, Renner addresses The Combine’s beginnings, a fascinating, untold American story, and his ambitions as a producer, with the time allotted between tentpole commitments.
What was the genesis of your production company The Combine, and your relationship with colleague Don Handfield?
Jeremy Renner: Don was actually one of the first guys I met in town back in ’94. He was an actor and a writer and all this stuff. Our friendship has remained all that time, and I’m godfather to his kids, but then when The Hurt Locker came around, I just knew there was a lot of opportunity that was coming in, and just couldn’t really manifest any opportunities because things were busy. We decided to develop scripts and ideas that would be mostly for me, but then also try to develop things that I wasn’t going to do.
We kept moving forward, kept pretty particular about certain things. He’s really great with story, so we kept working on it from that angle and developed a lot of IP over the years, which we became very proud of.
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