The Unlikely Love Story of Comedy Icons Del Close & Charna Halpern
NEW YORK, NY (November 4 , 2019) – Red Crown Productions LLC (“Red Crown”) announced today the development of the upcoming biopic film DEL & CHARNA, with Kay Cannon (BLOCKERS, PITCH PERFECT) attached to direct, and written by Rich Talarico (“KEY & PEELE”) and Alex Fendrich (“TEACHERS”). The film will be produced by Daniel Crown and Yoni Liebling of Red Crown Productions as well as Cannon and Laverne McKinnon (“GIRLBOSS”) of K&L Productions and Executive Produced by Irene Marquette of K&L Productions.
DEL & CHARNA tells the true story of the unlikely pairing of eccentric improv legend, Del Close and feisty comedy theater owner, Charna Halpern. The movie chronicles their tumultuous 19-year relationship, which saw them as friends, saviors, and soulmates. Together, these two helped each other overcome his addiction, financial ruin, and their own personal demons to ultimately establish improv as an art form, launching the careers of some of our most beloved comedians, writers, and directors.
“We are thrilled to bring the story of Del Close and Charna Halpern, two comedic icons to the screen and explore how their evolving relationship impacted the history of comedy and influenced future performers,” said Daniel Crown, founder of Red Crown Productions. “We look forward to partnering with Kay Cannon, whose comedic filmmaking has brought the genre to new heights.”
“Improv has been such an instrumental part of our lives that we’re incredibly honored to tell this special, unique story with the blessing of Charna Halpern. Dan and Yoni are amazing champions, and we’re excited to have Rich and Alex writing because they bring a wealth of knowledge to the project as former students of both Charna and Del,” said Kay Cannon and Laverne McKinnon, co-founders of K&L Productions.
“My life with Del was always funny, sometimes scary and extremely profound. I’m overjoyed to finally share our story with the world,” said Charna Halpern.
Additional projects in the Red Crown Productions slate includes the upcoming film HONEY BOY, in theaters November 8, 2019 from actor and screenwriter Shia LaBeouf, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired for distribution by Amazon Studios. The studio also executive produced Anthony Mandler’s contemporary drama ALL RISE, formerly titled MONSTER, based on the award-winning novel by Walter Dean Myers and starring Kelvin Harrison Jr, Jennifer Hudson, and A$AP Rocky. The film made its World Premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Red Crown also recently acquired the transgender screenplay QUEEN, an intimate portrayal of acvtivist and model Corey Rae’s real life high school transition process and how she became the world’s first openly transgender prom queen, and are also producing the upcoming independent film TOPSIDE directed by Celine Helad and Logan George.
About Red Crown Productions
Red Crown Productions is a privately held New York-based production and financing company founded in 2010. Red Crown produces engaging and dynamic films spanning a wide range of genres and budgets in both the independent and studio space. Their upcoming releases include Amazon Studios’ HONEY BOY in theaters November 8, and ALL RISE, which made its World Premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Red Crown also recently acquired the transgender screenplay QUEEN, a high school coming-of-age story about activist and model Corey Rae and will produce the upcoming independent feature TOPSIDE directed by Celine Held and Logan George. Recent projects from Red Crown Productions include Cary Fukunaga’s BEASTS OF NO NATION starring Idris Elba, Michael Showalter’s HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS starring Sally Field, and Jason Bateman’s THE FAMILY FANG starring Bateman and Nicole Kidman.
About K&L Productions
K&L Productions is a film and television company co-founded by Kay Cannon and Laverne McKinnon. Their mission is to tell underserved and underdog stories from both a comedic and dramatic lens. Kay and Laverne advocate for storytelling and creators who battle against ignorance, intolerance, and indifference. They’re also big believers in good times. They met on the Netflix series GIRLBOSS, where Kay served as Creator/Showrunner and Laverne was an Executive Producer.
Kay made her directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed hit comedy BLOCKERS which has grossed over $94 million worldwide. The film upended the traditional male-oriented teen coming-of-age sex comedy by telling it from the female perspective. Next up, Kay wrote and is directing a re-telling of the CINDERELLA story as a musical comedy starring Camila Cabello for Sony with James Corden producing. In addition, Kay wrote the PITCH PERFECT franchise which has earned over a half billion dollars. She’s also an award-winning, Emmy-nominated television writer whose credits include 30 Rock and New Girl.
Laverne has over 20 years of successful programming experience in premium cable, broadcast and digital platforms including stints as Executive Vice-President of Original Programming & Development at EPIX and Senior Vice-President of Drama Development at CBS. Her work has encompassed comedy, drama, documentaries, web series, animation, music events, comedy specials, and children’s programs. Additionally, Laverne is a leadership and personal coach, certified grief counselor and adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University’s Master of Science in Leadership for the Creative Enterprises program.
K&L Productions has a first look television deal at Sony, and have sold numerous projects to distributors including Amazon, ABC, NBC, Quibi, and TBS.