Martin Scorsese producer to launch first NFT-funded film

By Raffaele Redi

The film, A Wing and a Prayer, covers the true story British adventurer Brian Milton

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in The Irishman                                 
The Irishman producer Niels Juul has set up NFT Studios for the project – Photo: Alamy

Niels Juul, the producer of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, has announced the launch of new comedic drama A Wing and a Prayer, the first Hollywood movie to be entirely funded by non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It will be produced by NFT Studios, a new production company set up by Juul to fund a series of films.

A Wing and a Prayer will cover the true story of British adventurer Brian Milton, who was the first man to fly around the globe in a microlight aircraft in 1998.

The film, a joint US and UK production, is expected to start shooting in Malta and London in April 2022. The company said the director and main cast had already been identified with the producers intending to announce the film ahead of the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2022.

The announcement came as NFT Investments, an incubator specialising in the market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), made an investment of $1m (£750,000) in NFT Studios by purchasing a 20% share in the company.

Juul helped produce Martin Scorsese’s films The Irishman and Silence. He is currently an executive producer of Scorsese’s new Apple-backed Western epic Killers of the Flower Moon, which features Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as Michael Mann’s upcoming Ferrari, starring Hugh Jackman.

Jonathan Bixby, executive chairman of NFT Investments, said: “The funding of a new feature film, like A Wing and a Prayer, with NFTs will revolutionise thinking around the production of new film and media content in the future and NFT Studios is set to play a leading role. I see tremendous appetite from NFT investors in a product like this.”

NFT Studios’ strategy 

NFT Studios will operate as a development and production entity out of premises in Los Angeles, London and Vancouver.

The production company has already secured several fully developed projects that will form part of an offering to its community of NFT stakeholders, as well as its theatrical and streaming distributing partners around the world.

NFT Investments has committed to providing additional funding lines for NFT Studios, if necessary, to secure new content for future films that will be NFT-funded and produced by the studio.

Juul added: “NFT Studios has developed forward-looking strategies that will be a positive disrupter in the global movie-making industry and which will further shorten the distance between an engaged community of audiences and high-calibre writers and directors.

“We want to help stimulate the entire movie-making industry at all levels and offer an innovative and more effective way for screenwriters in particular to regain control of their work. We are developing a new creative platform with a direct connection to participating and investing audiences around the globe.”

The story of Brian Milton

The plot of the film A Wing and a Prayer follows the story of journalist and adventurer Milton.

“Mr Milton put his reputation, marriage, and worldly possessions on the line when he made a bet at the Reform Club that he could circumnavigate the world in 80 days, following the route of the fictional high-profile Reform Club member Phileas Fogg,” said NFT Studios.

“He successfully raised £4m from the Prince of Lichtenstein and set off from London with a co-pilot, and Sky TV in tow following a large media deal. Having come halfway around the world, his co-pilot decided to quit after falling in love with a Russian, leaving Milton with the painful choice of defeat and loss of honour or trying to finish on his own – a near-suicidal mission.”

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