EXCLUSIVE: Retired professional hockey player Miles Koules has launched the production company Koulest Productions, partnering with his father Oren Koules—who co-founded Evolution Entertainment and its division Twisted Pictures—to option the YA survival thriller, Ski Weekend, for development.
Oren Koules is a well-known producer who has been behind everything from Lionsgate’s Saw franchise to CBS’ sitcom Two and a Half Men. Miles Koules will look to bring his fresh perspective and hunger for new IP to his company, while benefiting from his father’s decades of experience and expertise in developing projects.
Ski Weekend is the debut novel of former top international trial attorney Liani Kotcher, written under the pen name Rektok Ross. It follows six teens stranded in the mountains who are forced to make impossible choices about who will live and who will die. Ross’ novel was a sought-after property after the widespread success of young adult book-to-screen adaptations including To All The Boys and The Kissing Booth. Ross is also a well-known content creator in the literary social media space and has a popular online book club and a podcast launching this summer.
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“Being a professional athlete has helped me hone my drive and dedication to success, but my passion has always been in discovering excellent storytelling. I’m so excited to begin this journey, grateful for the support, expertise, and guidance of my family along the way,” said Miles Koules. “When I first started my production company I knew SKI WEEKEND was the type of project I wanted to work on right away. With many other potential films and shows on my slate, my father and I agreed that this was an obvious choice for our first project as Rektok Ross is a force to be reckoned with and is known for her exciting storytelling with strong female leads at the forefront.
“In SKI WEEKEND, Rektok has crafted a timely, fast-paced survival story that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end, wondering what you would do to survive. But even more than that is her framing of the important issues of today with layered, diverse teen characters navigating questions of life, death, and everything in between,” added the Koulest Productions founder. “It’s not often you stumble upon a thriller with this level of depth, and I knew upon reading the book that it needed to be brought to the screen. I can’t wait to show everyone what we have been working on!”
“I am so excited to be able to partner with my son and pass the torch to Miles! I can’t wait to impart my 30-plus years experience and expertise and shepherd a new generation of talent into the producing world,” said Oren Koules. “I have known Rektok Ross for over 13 years and her drive to create characters and tell stories is second to none. Miles has chosen the right first project for KOULEST in SKI WEEKEND!”
“SKI WEEKEND has a special place in my heart,” added Ross. “As a teen once myself and now a mother to three stepchildren, it was important to me to tell a story that’s accessible to kids and adults alike about the harm of stereotyping and prejudging one another—especially in today’s current climate. I’m so excited to be working with Oren and Miles as they are true visionaries who understood the heart of this book from the very start.”
Born in Los Angeles, Miles Koules’ hockey career saw him play such teams as the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign, Cleveland Monsters, Bakersfield Condors and Binghamton Devils, and the HIFK of Finnish top-tier league Liiga. Like his father, his mother Risa Shapiro works in entertainment—as an agent who shaped the careers of such stars as Julia Roberts, Jennifer Connelly, Rosie O’Donnell, David Duchovny and Andie MacDowell, among others. After retiring from hockey, then, it only made sense to join the family business.
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