EXCLUSIVE: Fast-rising filmmakers Travon Free and Martin Roe have signed with CAA for representation, at the same time announcing the Paramount Pictures film Razorblade Tears, based on the New York Times bestselling novel by S.A. Crosby, as their next project.
The pic marking their narrative feature directorial debut will be produced by Top Gun: Maverick‘s Jerry Bruckheimer. The story follows Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, who band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, the pair of hardened men will confront their own prejudices about their sons and each other, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.
Flatiron Books published Razorblade Tears in July 2021. In addition to directing, Free and Roe will rewrite the script — working from an original draft by Charm City Kings‘ Sherman Payne.
The pair most recently wrapped production on the upcoming Bishop Sycamore football documentary BS High, which will bow on HBO and HBO Max at a date that’s not yet been disclosed. (Free also produced the Oscar-shortlisted documentary short 38 at the Garden on NBA trailblazer Jeremy Lin, with that film from Frank Chi bowing on HBO Max last fall.)
A pivotal moment in the careers of Free and Roe came when the Netflix-acquired short Two Distant Strangers, which they wrote and directed — speaking to racially-motivated police violence in the year of George Floyd’s murder — won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. The duo also recently claimed a Sports Emmy for writing and directing What Agnes Saw, a short film about a 100-year-old Olympian, which was played as part of the opening ceremony during last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Free recently sold wrote an untitled spy thriller which was picked up by Apple in a multi-studio bidding war and has Idris Elba set to star, with Simon Kinberg producing. He’s also known for his work in television, as a producer or supervising producer on such series as Harlem, Wilmore, Black Monday and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, which earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, as well as Any Given Wednesday, Camping, and most recently, Winning Time for HBO and Adam McKay. Free was previously a staff writer for The Daily Show, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series in 2015.
Through his commercial production company Dirty Robber, of which he is the Founder and Creative Director, Roe has directed, exec produced, and helped create the docuseries Wiz Khalifa: Behind the Camera for Apple, Breaking2 for National Geographic, We Are the Champions and Heist for Netflix, and Tom vs. Time for Facebook, which earned him a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Serialized Sports Documentary, among others.
Free continues to be represented by AGI Entertainment and Jared Levine at Yorn, Levine, Barnes; Roe by 3 Arts and Matthew Levy at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.