Ed Harris (“Dale”) - Westworld, Apollo 13, Truman Show, The Rock
Sonequa Martin-Green (“Merit”) - The Walking Dead, Star Trek Discovery
Natalie Morales (“Zoe”) - Parks & Rec, Stuber, Santa Clarita Diet
Logline: Engaged in a mysterious but comfortable friendship with her wise-cracking (and dead) best friend from the Army (Natalie Morales), a female veteran (Sonequa Martin-Green) is summoned to the remote lake house of her estranged Vietnam vet grandfather (Ed Harris) and tasked with providing the one thing he refuses…help.
Synopsis: MDFZ is a dark comedy drama about two veterans from the same family but very different generations. Merit, an Afghanistan vet, and her grandpa Dale, a Vietnam vet, used to spend every summer together at the family's lake house. A retired colonel, Dale was Merit’s childhood hero. But ever since Merit got back from Afghanistan and went MIA from her family, the two haven’t spoken. After missing her grandma’s funeral, Dale wrote Merit off as another self-centered "snowflake". Unfortunately Merit’s reason for self-isolating is one no one can know about: her best friend Zoe. Merit and Zoe were epic best friends in the Army and even though Zoe is now…dead…the two remain inseparable. Only Merit can see Zoe and there’s just one rule: no one can know about Zoe. Not to Merit’s prodding group therapy counselor, not Merit’s international executive mom, and especially not Merit’s estranged grandpa. But when Dale has a fall and Merit is the only one close enough to his remote lake house to stay with him, the two are forced to co-exist in a stalemate of stubbornness until Merit’s mom returns from overseas. Zoe, a wellspring of sarcasm and crude humor, loves it. But when Merit’s mom enlists Merit to help her covertly sell the lake house and find a nursing facility for Dale, tensions rise between the odd trio of veterans until Merit is forced to choose, once and for all, between her best friend and her childhood hero.
Type: Feature film
Genre/Niches: Dark Comedy-Drama / Buddy Film, Military-Veterans, Intergenerational, Apolitical
Comps: CODA, Fight Club, Booksmart, Grand Torino
ProdCo: Legion M
Writer/Dir: Kyle Hausmann-Stokes (award-winning filmmaker, US Army combat veteran)