Award-winning director David Anspaugh (Rudy, Hoosiers) has finalized an agreement to direct Little Red Wagon, a feature film written by Patrick Sheane Duncan (Mr. Holland's Opus) and inspired by the true story of 12-year-old homeless youth advocate Zach Bonner. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation (Templeton.org) under the auspices of its Philanthropy Project, and produced in association with Anonymous Content, the film is executive produced by Steve Golin of Anonymous Content and Barbara Kelly and produced by Philanthropy Project's Dr. Michael Guillen, a best-selling author and three-time Emmy winner known for his 14-year post as ABC News science editor, in partnership with David Kanter of Anonymous Content.
Principal photography is expected to begin this spring, coinciding with Zach Bonner's "March Across America" - launching in Tallahassee on April 7 and culminating in Los Angeles in September - to raise awareness and funds for homeless children in America.
"Little Red Wagon is an inspiring, feel-good, family movie in the grand, successful tradition of Hoosiers, Rudy, Mr. Holland's Opus and The Blind Side," says Guillen. "In David Anspaugh and Patrick Duncan, we have the perfect Dream Team. I couldn't be more excited."
Early in his career, Anspaugh distinguished himself by producing and directing Hill Street Blues, earning two Emmy Awards for his directing work. In 1986 he directed his first feature film, Hoosiers, an acclaimed sports drama starring Gene Hackman, followed by such films as the football drama Rudy starring Sean Astin and Ned Beatty; the romance Moonlight and Valentino with Elizabeth Perkins, Whoopi Goldberg and Gwyneth Paltrow; and The Game of Their Lives, a period soccer drama starring Gerard Butler. Currently in pre-production is the independent film 4Chosen, a drama to star Billy Zane, Laurence Fishburne, Lou Gossett, Jr. and Cybill Shepherd.
Anspaugh is represented by ICM and managed by Stephen Gates of Evolution Entertainment. Guillen is represented by Richard Leibner of N.S. Bienstock and managed by Burton Taylor of Taylor Entertainment. The agreement was negotiated on behalf of Anspaugh by Darren Trattner of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein and on behalf of Philanthropy Project by Steve Younger of Myman Abel Fineman Fox Greenspan & Light and Paul Green of Anonymous Content.
Zach Bonner, a recipient of the U.S. President's Volunteer Service Award profiled on Good Morning America, is founder of Little Red Wagon Foundation (LittleRedWagonFoundation.com), a Tampa-based nonprofit that he formed in 2005, at age seven, to help distressed and underprivileged children in the destructive wake of Hurricane Charley. For months, Zach used his little red wagon to gather water and supplies for those victimized by the storm. Since then, the foundation has evolved into a broader philanthropic organization committed to helping transform the lives of American children who are homeless and in distress, "one wagon full at a time."
In November 2007, Zach began a 1,125-mile-long "My House to the White House" walk, on behalf of the 1.3 million homeless youth in America and youth volunteerism generally, by walking from his hometown of Tampa to Tallahassee. The next fall he continued the journey by walking from Tallahassee to Atlanta and, in Summer 2009, completed the effort by walking 668 miles from Atlanta to Washington, DC, where he met with U.S. Senators and Representatives. His most ambitious walk will come this spring and summer, traveling close to 2,250 miles from Tallahassee to Los Angeles.