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Exclusive: Studiocanal has hired Alex Holmes to adapt The Killer for Pierre Morel to direct. This comes after Studiocanal acquired rights to Tom Wood’s critically acclaimed Victor The Assassin book franchise, with Morel attached along with The Picture Company to produce with Sentient Entertainment. Studiocanal and Morel collaborated on The Gunman, the action thriller starring Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone that Open Road Films will release in February. They are hoping to hatch a franchise with Wood’s six-book series. The Killer is the first book in that series. It centers on Victor, a mysterious, quick-witted and charismatic gun for hire whose conscience begins to catch up with him and as a result puts him at odds with his employers.
- Mike Fleming Jr
Ubisoft is going all-in this November.
On the 11th alone we’re getting Assassin’s Creed Rogue and Unity both on last and current-gen respectively, and a massively ambitious open-usa racing game in The Crew. Even Wii U owners will get a way-too-late port of Watch Dogs at the end of that month, but that’s not all. No, ladies and gentlemen, we’ll have plenty more to be grateful for on Thanksgiving than family, pie, hacking, road trips and Parisian architecture.
Far Cry 4 is coming November 18th. Trading their tried and true tropical tropes for lush, mountainous farmland and frigid Himalayan peaks, Ubisoft is aiming to elevate every aspect of the signature gameplay with more varied environmental design and greater vertical gameplay dynamics. They’ll have to, if they hope to give us something bigger and badder than Far Cry 3.
Our introduction to The Rook Islands was unforgettable, »
- James McGrath
Producer Eric Newman’s newly-launched Grand Electric has inked a multi-year co-venture with Studiocanal.
Under the deal, Grand Electric will acquire, develop, and produce films for the European and U.S. markets, while Studiocanal will act as a creative partner, financier and will handle international sales as well as distribute the movies in France, the U.K., Germany, Australia/New Zealand.
Says Newman, “I am extremely fortunate to be able to formalize what has been an incredibly important relationship to me. I look forward to being a part of the continuing expansion of Studiocanal as a stand-alone film content provider”.
Grand Electric will be based in L.A. and will continue to develop and produce Newman’s staple elevated genre fare.
Newman, who has been in the film business for over 20 years, has produced a flurry of highly successful films via Strike Entertainment, a production and finance shingle based at »
- Elsa Keslassy
Exclusive: Producer Eric Newman has formed Grand Electric, a new shingle that starts with a multi-year co-venture with StudioCanal that will enable him to acquire, develop and produce films for the European and U.S. markets. The company will be based in Los Angeles, and StudioCanal will be the financier, foreign sales entity and direct distributor in its stronghold territories.
It is the first overall deal that Newman has made since he and Marc Abraham split their Strike Entertainment partnership. Abraham wanted to concentrate on directing and is making the Hank Williams biopic I Saw The Light, with Tom Hiddleston playing Williams and Elizabeth Olsen playing Audrey Mae Williams. Newman has been busy exec producing the Netflix series Hemlock Grove and the upcoming Netflix drug war series Narcos, with Jose Padilha directing his Elite Squad lead Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar in the pilot. Newman and Padilha bonded on the RoboCop remake. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
The last major film festival of the fall season announced its highly anticipated opening night film this morning, and it is J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. That’s a bit of a surprise for the AFI Fest 2014 Presented By Audi, as it comes from upstart A24, a company looking to jump into the Oscar conversation in a big way with this high profile debut on November 6th at the TLC Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Since the film itself is being held back for an end-of-year eligibility run beginning December 31, the last possible day to enter the race, this will be a valuable showcase and self-starting slot to get noticed amidst all the bigger-name entries into the awards derby.
- Pete Hammond
We were a little disappointed when we found out that Javier Bardem dropped out of J. C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year—set during the winter of 1981, one of the most violent years on record in New York City. Bardem knows a thing or two about that kind of brutality (hello, No Country for Old Men). But after seeing the recently released trailer for the Margin Call director’s film, we’re feeling hopeful again. Inside Llewyn Davis' Oscar Isaac has since replaced Bardem, starring opposite Jessica Chastain in what looks to be a moody, caustic picture. According to IMDb, the film is “centered on a the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay and...
- Alison Nastasi
J.C. Chandor's “A Most Violent Year” starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain joins the Oscar race with a Dec. 31 release date in New York and Los Angeles, with plans to roll out wide in January 2015. Set during in crime-ridden New York in 1981, the film follows the lives of an immigrant and his family as they attempt to capitalize on the American Dream while rampant violence, decay, and corruption threaten to destroy all they have built. Also read: Oscar Isaac in Talks to Replace Javier Bardem in J.C. Chandor's ‘A Most Violent Year’ Albert Brooks co-stars in the film, »
- Gina Hall
First of all, something of an apology. I have been writing this column thinking that every single title due for release the following Monday would of course be released via some kind of pay to stream service. Of course it would, we are living in the future, and this is how things are done isn’t it?
Apparently not, last week I included Jeremy Saulnier’s much loved Blue Ruin in the pay to stream section and then it didn’t come out the way I thought it might. Turns out that some companies still have a fairly limited release pattern so Blue Ruin was released by channel 4’s DVD label and appeared on DVD and Blu but didn’t show up to stream on any of the major providers, not even Sky Store or Playstation Network.
So turns out that being a channel 4 release, you can of course rent »
- Chris Holt
Michael Fassbender leads a class-a cast in Ridley Scott's grimly stylish crime thriller as the titular lawyer whose decision to enter the drug trade proves horribly unwise. With sex, death and greed high on the agenda, the first original screenplay from Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy (The Road, No Country for Old Men) provides plenty of philosophical meat for everyone to chew on, including the Counsellor's shadiest client Javier Bardem, cartel middleman Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz as the femme fatale who pulls everybody’s strings. The extended cut includes extra material. »
StudioCanal is teaming up with Taken and District B13 director Pierre Morel to push further in action-thriller territory with The Killer, an adaptation of Tom Wood’s bestselling Victor the Assassin series. The project finds the studio and Morel reteaming with Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman of The Picture Company, the same producers who worked on The Gunman, starring Idris Elba, Javier Bardem and Sean Penn.
No star has yet been announced, but all involved are definitely gunning for a series with The Killer. Wood’s franchise has so far included four novels and one short story, with more volumes on the way. Though the story is somewhat familiar – a nameless assassin is double-crossed and forced to fend for himself - The Killer and its sequels have received strong reviews, with many praising Wood’s writing, the main character and the inventive action sequences.
Here’s the Amazon synopsis for »
- Isaac Feldberg
Studiocanal has scored the rights to "Victor the Assassin," an upcoming book series by Tom Wood.
Pierre Morel ("Taken") is on board to direct "The Killer" (aka. "The Hunter") based on the first book in the series, which centers on an assassin who had no last name and about whom very little is known. The books were praised for their pacing and charismatic lead.
Source: Heat Vision »
- Garth Franklin
Studiocanal continues its push into action by picking up the rights to Victor the Assassin, the book series by Tom Wood. And it’s reuniting with the director and producers of its upcoming action movie The Gunman to adapt the first tome. Pierre Morel is on board to direct The Killer, which will be produced by Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman of The Picture Company. Morel directed Gunman, which stars Sean Penn, Idris Elba and Javier Bardem, while Rona and Heineman were among its producers. Also on board to produce the Victor the Assassin adaptations are Sentient Entertainment's Renee Tab and
- Borys Kit
For the curious among you this is my very tentative list of films on my very jam-packed schedule at Tiff. This will be the 10th anniversary of my very first trip to Tiff from which my fondest memory was sitting behind Gael García Bernal and Javier Bardem for the premiere of The Sea Inside (the fondness of the memory is due to the view, not the movie). I haven't been attending annually but perhaps last year's short trip was the start of a tradition?
This list is highly subject to change - there are always cancellations, late starts, pop ups which all throw off schedules, you can try to follow the critical buzz which will throw off the schedule, you can meet with friends for food and conversation which will throw off the schedule, and you can sleep which will throw off the morning screening schedule. It's a madcap journey: eye strain, »
- NATHANIEL R
Anthony Hodgson on his three greatest book to movie adaptations…
Author, Bret Easton Ellis.
Upon its original publication in 1991, American Psycho was marred by controversy, and it’s no surprise considering one of the chapters is called ‘Killing Child at Zoo’, which was sensibly not included in the film. The satire focuses on Patrick Bateman, a cold blooded narcissistic ‘yuppie’ who spends his days listening to Phil Collins in his plush Wall Street office, but spends his nights brutally murdering prostitutes and homeless people. Harron & Turner were set with the tough task of portraying the comedic elements of the book whilst keeping it’s gruesome themes.
And they nailed it. From the opening credits of blood-like condiments dripping across the screen, to the famously ambiguous ending, it is easy to tell that they truly understood what Ellis was trying to say. And through »
- Gary Collinson
The only way is ethics for Man Bites Dog, a pseudo-documentary, which focuses its lens on the media’s obsession with on-screen violence and so-called “Reality TV” and our obsession with watching it. It is probably the most controversial film in Belgian history, and it continues to repel and intrigue audiences in equal measure.
Written, directed and produced by Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel and Benoit Poelvoorde (all of whom play starring roles), Man Bites Dog is a cross between mock-cinema verité, à la Spinal Tap but with the violence turned up to eleven, and the ultimate reality TV show. The film shows an amateur film crew who are following a loquacious and charismatic serial killer named Ben. Ben kills to make a living. Strangely he is not seeking revenge or attempting to surmount a past trauma, in fact an interview with his mother reveals that as a child he was »
- Will Roberts
Recently taking stock of his career, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu began to wonder if he might have gotten stuck in a creative rut of his own making.
“It was like I was on a ladder, and I was getting a little too comfortable,” says the 51-year-old filmmaker as he holds out two clenched fists, miming the grip on that ladder. “I was just doing my work. It was a habit. I was stuck, half out of fear and half out of safety. And I said to myself, ‘I’m going to let go of the ladder.’ ”
For Inarritu, letting go meant taking a stab at his first full-fledged comedy, albeit one with a strong undercurrent of existential despair. In the director’s self-reflexive “Birdman,” Michael Keaton stars as an actor once famous for playing a superhero, now trying to save his »
- Scott Foundas
Update: In response to the firestorm of news that came out of the Vox article, David Chase responded to Vulture via a publicist: “A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David Chase said in their interview. To simply quote David as saying,” Tony Soprano is not dead,” is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true. As David Chase has said numerous times on the record, “Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point.” To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer.” So there.
People, being stupid, annoying, and stupid, cannot seem to cope with ambiguity, least of all when it is in an art form. Whether it’s a question of where Javier Bardem walks off to at the end »
- Brian Welk
Haim Saban, the unshakably pro-Israel media billionaire, says that Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, who have taken stridently anti-Israel positions, probably did so because they lack “facts.” Bardem and Cruz recently signed a widely circulated open letter that condemned Israel for its actions in Gaza. “I think Bardem and Cruz are simply misinformed,” Saban told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview. “I think that once somebody bothers informing them and educating them on the facts, on what is happening on both sides, I don't they would call [the Israeli campaign in Gaza] 'genocide.' They would better understand that
- Tina Daunt
Try as they might, James Bond.s producers are going to have a difficult time topping Skyfall. It is the highest-grossing Bond film of all time. It was critically adored, and won two Oscars. And it introduced one of the more memorable Bond villains in recent memory through Javier Bardem.s Silva. As the production team gears up for Bond 24, they are making bold moves to replicate the success of Skyfall. They fought hard and managed to bring Sam Mendes back into the fold. And now they are on the lookout for a menacing, memorable villain. James Bond Radio first reported that a casting call for Bond 24 is looking for a henchman that will follow in the mold of Oddjob or Jaws, classic villains who threatened 007 in movies like Goldfinger and Moonraker. The site even reports that they have a name picked out for this character . Hinx . though »
While Bond 24 is rumored to be a direct continuation of Skyfall, we know that Javier Bardem will not be returning as main villain Raoul Silva (if you've seen the movie, you know why). Now, a new report indicates that this sequel is looking to bring back the type of villain that was prevalent in the 60s and 70s entries in the franchise.
According to mi6, Bond 24 is looking to cast a giant brute of a henchman that will tower over Daniel Craig. This character, named Hinx, is said to be in the same vein as Jaws, introduced in 1979's Moonraker and played Richard Kiel, and Oddjob, who appeared in the 1964 installment Goldfinger and was played by Harold Sakata.
Here is mi6's description of the character:
Casting has begun for the main assassin, with the search specifically focussed on someone extremely physically fit and over 6′ 2″. Whoever wins the »
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