PalmStar Media Capital is a film financing company based in Philadelphia. It was founded by its CEO, Kevin Frakes in 2010.[1]


PalmStar Entertainment was co-founded in 2004 by Kevin Frakes and Stephan Paternot. Later in 2010, the CEO Frakes co-founded PalmStar Media Capital with Peggy Taylor[2] and Frank Pollifrone to focus on financing films.[3] In July 2017, PalmStar Media purchased all the assets of National Lampoon, Inc., including trademark and library of print, audio, movie, and video content.[4]

The Alchemist

In 2016, PalmStar purchased the film rights of the Paulo Coelho novel The Alchemist for $6.5 million.[5] In July 2021, it was announced that The Alchemist would be shooting in Morocco in September 2021.[6] Shortly after, The Hollywood Reporter announced that The Alchemist had fallen apart and that the movie was no longer happening.[7] The current status of the film is unknown.

Collaboration deals

In October 2014, PalmStar signed on a multi-year financing deal with Basil Iwanyk's Thunder Road Pictures, and according to this agreement, Thunder Road would get $200 million funds from PalmStar.[8] Thunder Road would use it to fully finance and produce five to six independent films from $20 to $50 million budget range per year.[8]

In February 2015, PalmStar signed on a deal with Dylan Sellers' Rivers Edge Films to handle all company's production and development costs, and together, PalmStar would finance four to five films for Rivers Edge with budgets between $20 million to $40 million.[9] In August 2015, PalmStar signed a deal with Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield's production company 'The Combine' to finance two to three films per year for 'The Combine'.[1]

PalmStar has also partnered with Anthony Bregman's Likely Story and Buddy Patrick's Windy Hill Pictures.[1]

Box Office Success

In 2013, PalmStar financed The Frozen Ground which grossed $5.6M at the box office off of a $27M budget.[10] In 2016, they financed Term Life starring Vince Vaughn, which grossed $244k off of a $16M budget.[11] In 2018, they financed The Catcher Was A Spy starring Paul Rudd which grossed $954k off of a $14M budget.[12]

Hereditary Final Cut Battle

In 2018, PalmStar financed Ari Aster's film Hereditary. In a 2022 Deadline article, producer Lars Knudsen claimed that Aster got into a battle with an unnamed financier over the final cut of the picture.[13] Knudsen stated that the financier originally hired him. Kevin Frakes was revealed to be the financier in a different interview that Knudsen conducted with The Mandy Network.[14]

Legal issues

In 2014, PalmStar filed a tantalizing lawsuit, claiming that the casting of Ben Affleck in The Accountant was the result of a conspiracy that ended in the independent production company being cut out of the upcoming film. According to the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, PalmStar — represented by William Morris Endeavor — says it entered into a binding co-production agreement on September 10, 2014, for The Accountant with co-defendants Zero Gravity Management, its principal, Mark Williams, and Lynette Howell. The deal is said to have come after months of negotiation, ever since Williams allegedly submitted the screenplay for PalmStar's consideration. But it was not long before PalmStar was “cut loose” from the production, says the lawsuit, due to some alleged shenanigans by its own agents.[15]

In 2018, PalmStar was sued by Rick Kaplan and Investigative Media Group Inc. This case was filed in New York County Courts, Supreme Court Civil Term located in Washington, New York. The Judge overseeing this case is Gerald Lebovits. [16]

In 2020, Kevin Frakes sued National Lampoon's former president Evan Shapiro for fraud, alleging in New York federal court that he owes more than $3 million for surreptitiously funneling the company's intellectual property and money from deals with Quibi, Disney+ and Comedy Central Digital into companies he controls. Shapiro later claimed that Frakes bullied him out of a job. [17]


  1. ^ a b c Siegel, Tatiana (August 31, 2015). "Jeremy Renner Inks Multi-Year Producing Deal With PalmStar Media (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Kevin Frakes - Producer". Focus Features. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  3. ^ McNary, Dave (June 1, 2010). "Zellweger ready for 'Pillage'". Variety.
  4. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (July 24, 2017). "PalmStar Media Closes Near $12M National Lampoon Deal; Can Laugh Brand Regain Luster?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  5. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (2016). "PalmStar Media Commits $6.5M for Paulo Coehlo Novel The Alchemist". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  6. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (2021). "Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist Gets September Start Date". Deadline. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  7. ^ Galuppo, Mia (2021). "Alchemist Falls Apart Again". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  8. ^ a b McNary, Dave (October 22, 2014). "PalmStar Media, Basil Iwanyk's Thunder Road Set $200 Million in Annual Financing Deal". Variety. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (February 20, 2015). "Dylan Sellers Sets Rivers Edge Films Shingle With PalmStar Media Backing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  10. ^ Mojo, Box Office (2013). "The Frozen Ground Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  11. ^ Mojo, Box Office (2016). "Term Life Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  12. ^ Mojo, Box Office (2016). "Term Life Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  13. ^ Grobar, Matt (2023). "Beau is Afraid Producer Lars Knudsen On The Hereditary Final Cut Battle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Collins, James (2018). "Hereditary Producer Lars Knudsen On His Career". Mandy. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  15. ^ Gardner, Eriq (2014). "Ben Affleck at Center of Legal War". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  16. ^ "Investigative Media Group, Inc. et al v. PalmStar Media Capital LLC et al". UniCourt. 2018. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  17. ^ "Ex-Nat'l Lampoon Prez Claims Execs, Attys Bullied Him". Law360. 2018. Retrieved July 25, 2017.