Reelworks Studios is planning a big media push for its September 6th release of “The Ultimate Life” , the prequel/sequel to 2007′s “The Ultimate Gift”. Golden Globe-winner Peter Fonda (“Ulee’s Gold”), Logan Bartholomew (“Love’s Enduring Promise”) and David Mann (“Meet the Browns”) join original cast members Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether and Ali Hillis in the film based on the best-selling books by Jim Stovall.
Michael Landon, Jr. (“Saving Sarah Cain”, “Loves Comes Softly”) directed the shoot which wrapped this past spring in and around the Winston-Salem, NC area. The film was produced by Executive Producer Rick Eldridge (“The Ultimate Gift”, “Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius”) and Producer David Kappes (“Jaws 3-D”). The screenplay was developed by Brian Bird (“Touched By An Angel”), Cheryl McKay (“The Ultimate Gift”), with Lisa G. Shillingburg. “The Ultimate Gift” will be distributed nationally in theaters on September 6th, 2013. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment secured home entertainment distribution rights. The company has sold 2 million units of the first film “The Ultimate Gift”.
According to Eldridge, “The Ultimate Gift” is an emotional, endearing family film and an instant classic that will be embraced by audiences who loved the first film, while attracting new viewers to the story. There is huge multi-generational appeal since the film is both a sequel and a prequel.”
Multiple generations of talent combine to tell the story of Red from a young boy in the 1940s through an older man over the years, including Drew Waters (“Friday Night Lights”) who plays young adult Red. Waters credits director Landon with creating a special dynamic on-set. “My approach to acting is to wrap an emotional and physical structure around my character that I can relate to…Michael is a director who helps that happen and as a result captures unique, emotional and authentic performances.”
Building on the successful 2007 theatrical release of “The Ultimate Gift” in which Jason Stevens (Logan Bartholomew) inherits a two-billion dollar trust from his grandfather, Red (James Garner), “The Ultimate Life” begins three years after Jason receives the gift. We discover the ensuing years have been challenging for Jason and his girlfriend Alexia. When his extended family files suit against him, Jason is left reeling until his lawyer and confidant Hamilton, shares Red’s journal with Jason. Reading the journal takes Jason (and moviegoers) back into Red’s younger days where he meets lifelong friends and discovers the origins of the gifts that would mark Red’s life. Spanning across generations and time, the question now is: Is it too late for those lessons to help Jason?
ReelWorks Studios, LLC was founded in August 2009 by entertainment entrepreneurs, Rick Eldridge and Christopher Cates with the stated objective of producing media with a message that entertains, educates and edifies. Eldridge has been in the entertainment business for over 30 years as a producer, director and musician. Cates brings an equal amount of tenure in the industry as a producer and production and post production manager for both television and film. Collectively, the pair has lent their expertise to projects for many notable media companies including, Universal, Disney, Fox, MGM, Discovery, BET, PBS, Fox
Sports, ABC, NBC and ESPN. While they both have long and varied credits, recent collaborations between them have yielded projects such as “Bobby Jones – Stroke of Genius”,”Max Lucado’s Hermie and Friends”, and, of course, “The Ultimate Gift.”
ReelWorks also manages post production and sound stages in Charlotte and handles production services for TV and film projects such as the Showtime series “Homeland” and the Hallmark Channel films “The Shunning” and “The Confession”.
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