With several movies packed with star power set to unspool, Martin Sprock’s Sprockefeller Pictures is on the brink of box-office success.
Ryan Johnson and Martin Sprock of Sprockefeller Pictures
Martin Sprock admits he’s guilty of quoting movie lines. One of this lifelong film fan’s favorites is from Serendipity, the 2001 romantic comedy starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. In it, Jeremy Piven’s character explains that the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. When someone died, they only asked whether he or she had passion.
“I don’t have to worry about that,” says Sprock, a serial entrepreneur with a sense of optimism that’s as undeniable as his Greensboro, N.C.-bred accent. Over the years he has invested in everything from a mining company to dental offices. Sprock got his start in the restaurant industry, founding major chains like Moe’s Southwest Grill and Planet Smoothie. Today, he’s CEO of Atlanta’s Big Game Brands, home to other dining concepts.
In 2012, Sprock added film producer and writer to his résumé with Sprockefeller Pictures, the production company he co-founded with Ryan Johnson. Pandemic or not, the year ahead is poised to be a breakout moment for Sprockefeller, with two major releases: The Comeback Trail, a comedy starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones; and action flick Honest Thief with Liam Neeson. One project that’s especially meaningful to Sprock is upcoming Red Ivory, a drama that centers on elephant poaching in Africa, written by Academy Award winner David Ward. “This is a chance to wake up the world to what’s happening to elephants, but not in a preachy kind of way,” says Sprock.
As the national conversation swirls around social issues like inclusion and diversity, Sprock says he is committed to creating more roles and scripts for Black actors and making films that shine a light on race issues. In turn, he hopes those very projects spark important discussions.
“We really can make a difference in films,” he says. “Films are one of the last things that can bring people together.”