Humphrey Bogart, whose storied career saw him star in such classics as Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon, is getting back into the film biz. Or rather, the estate of the deceased star is. As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the Bogart estate will be partnering with writer/director Steve Anderson and (at least initially) venture capital fund Orange Equity to produce a slate of independent films, beginning with Anderson’s The Last Lonely Place.
The new company, Santana Productions (named for Bogart’s sailboat), will aim “to create the kind of well-told noirs, thrillers and crime movies that Bogie loved,” according to Orange Equity founder and one of the co-managers of the Bogart Estate, Robbert de Klerk. Indeed, it seems genre pictures will be a focus for Santana Productions. “[The films we’re making will] be elevated genre films,” said Anderson, “films that Bogart might make if he was making films today. They’ll be quality, filmmaker-driven films. There’s a demand out there for quality genre films, and we intend to meet that demand by embracing the Bogart legacy.”
Orange Equity has pledged $5 million dollars in support, intended to fund pictures over the next three to five years. The Last Lonely Place, now in post-production, obviously will not see much of that money. It was instead funded through Kickstarter, and stars Carly Pope (Two For the Money), Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass, Taken), and Rhys Coiro (Straw Dogs). The first Santana production proper will be The White Orchid, presumably a remake of the 1954 film by Reginald Le Borg, which is currently casting.
“My father has inspired generations of film lovers and filmmakers,” said Humphrey’s son Stephen. “In 1948, my dad was one of the first stars to leave the studio system, because he wanted to be free to make movies his way. He started his own independent film company…Starting Santana Films is the perfect way to carry on our family tradition.”