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Brit comedian Russell Brand and director Michael Winterbottom will join forces on “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a docu feature expose of the financial crisis which, with Ben Stassen’s “Robinson Crusoe,” a family-targeting riff on the classic, rep the new titles on Studiocanal’s AFM lineup.
Brand has never made a secret of his political leanings, and has been promoting his latest book “Revolution,” whose proceeds will go to creating non-profit social enterprises that “represent an alternative to some of the systems that we currently labor under,” will join Winterbottom. one of Britain’s most prolific and most European of quality directors, for what Studiocanal described Monday as a “polemical” documentary about the financial crisis exposing the gross contempo social inequalities.
Produced by Revolution Films, Winterbottom’s longterm partnership with Andrew Eaton, “New Clothes” will mix documentary – interviews, archival footage and comedy – with Brand taking the spectator from the »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
It seems like every week, one of the cast members of "Game of Thrones" books a role on the big screen. That's likely because there are so many characters in the HBO series that the cast is rather sizable, but it's also a testament to just how that show has made many of those actors in demand. The latest star of the fantasy series heading to the big screen is Richard Madden, the deceased former King of the North Rob Stark, as Variety reports he will join Idris Elba in the developing action thriller Bastille Day. The film has been in the works for a couple years and previously had Taken helmer Pierre Morel attached to direct back in 2012, but now it's James Watkins (The Woman in Black, Eden Lake) at the helm instead. Read on! With a script from rising writer Andrew Baldwin, the story follows a rogue U. »
- Ethan Anderton
It’s been a while since the action thriller Bastille Day pinged our news radar. The last we heard (nearly a year ago), Idris Elba was attached to star. He’ll have some company, in the shape of Richard Madden.The thriller follows a rogue CIA operative assigned to interrogate a young American con artist and then make him disappear to as to avoid red faces in the government when the man is accused as the prime suspect in an attack on the Paris Metro.But to the operative’s surprise – and after a few more terrorist incidents – it turns out that the man is innocent and may be the only way to track the actual person responsible for the bombings. But can he keep him alive long enough to find the real threat?While Taken’s Pierre Morel was attached earlier in the film’s development, The Woman In Black »
The first in a six-book series dubbed the 'Victor The Assassin' franchise, the critically acclaimed work follows a mysterious and charismatic killer whose conscience begins to catch up with him and puts him at odds with his employers.
Source: Deadline »
- Garth Franklin
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
Back in 2008, the Pierre Morel directed and Luc Besson produced (and co-written) Taken gave Liam Neeson a surprising career resurgence as an action hero. Not to mention, it was pretty awesome to say the least. Olivier Megaton’s Taken 2 in 2012 was not nearly as awesome and was just more of the same, but a worse version of it. Megaton, Besson, and Neeson are back for Taken 3, which is being referred to as Tak3n (yep, that’s what’s on the poster). Before the groans start, the trailer for the film actually looks kind of badass. No one is taken, at least not in the trailer, there is no foreign country in sight, and Neeson’s character, Bryan Mills, looks to be in a very different situation than in his previous outings. It is probably best to remain cautiously optimistic on this one before it is released on January 9, 2015. Watch the trailer below. »
- Max Molinaro
So many things have been taken from ex-government operative Bryan Mills. In the first “Taken” movie, he had to track down his daughter after she was kidnapped by human traffickers and sold into sexual slavery while traveling in France. In “Taken 2” it was payback. The father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter took Mills and his wife hostage. In “Taken 3” (also known as "Tak3n") Liam Neeson returns as Mills, but no, it’s not what’s left of his dignity that’s taken this time. This time he’s out for revenge. Kidding. This time, he’s framed for a murder he didn’t commit (much more original, no?) Produced and written by Luc Besson, the filmmaker has always used his protégés to helm his action thrillers. Pierre Morel launched his career with the first one and Olivier Megaton (who directed "Colombiana" with Zoe Saldana) helmed the second. »
- Edward Davis
“If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you that I don’t have any money. What I do have, are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” – Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), Taken
When Liam Neeson was playing telephone with bad guys in 2008’s Taken, he was not just introducing himself to those who had nixed his daughter’s attempt to stalk U2 guitarist The Edge. He was inaugurating a new action hero archetype built of aged wisdom and burrowed brawn, the middle-aged vigilante assassin. (Vigilante applied here because as “one who undertakes law enforcement without legal authority,” while “assassin” fits to associations of precise violent skills.)
The success of Neeson’s mission as ex-cia guy Mills, that is, the hundreds of millions of dollars Taken took, confirmed the vitality of a middle-aged vigilante assassin, »
- Nick Allen
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
Taken was a surprise box office smash that cemented Liam Neeson as an unlikely action hero. It’s still a surprise to me, considering how genuinely awful I found it. However, the masses have spoken and after the success of Taken 2, along with the likes of Neeson action films such as Non-stop, A Walk Among The Tombstones, and Unknown, it’s time to go back to the character of Bryan Mills in Taken 3. This time we find Mills (Neeson) framed for murder, forcing him to go on the run. Quite who is going to be ‘taken’ is still unknown at this time. Neeson had this to say about his upcoming return:
I have to go on the run, I’ll put it that way, from the not-so-lawful types and the lawful authorities. Bryan Mills served his country faithfully, but now even they are after him. They must not like me. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Exclusive: StudioCanal has snapped up rights to journalist Mitch Swenson’s true-story novella The Tracking Of A Russian Spy that will be produced by Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman’s The Picture Company. It marks the second deal for the new shingle since its formation; earlier this month, StudioCanal acquired rights to Tom Wood’s Victor the Assassin books for Pierre Morel to helm and Picture Company to produce with Sentient Entertainment.
Russian Spy, first published on the literary site Thought Catalog, will be adapted by Charles Cumming. It centers on a secret romance Swenson had with Katya, a young and mysterious Russian woman he met in a New York nightclub. She disappeared suddenly after the arrest in 2010 of 10 Russian Americans who were charged with spying for the Kremlin. Swenson traveled to Moscow to uncover who his love really was, leading him down a rabbit hole of intrigue and shadow government operations deep within Russia. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
"Excalibur" was a formative theatrical experience for me. It was one of the first R-rated films I specifically decided I wanted to see in a theater. I'd seen other R-rated films before that, but always at random and because someone else decided I was going to see it. With "Excalibur," I was crazy to see it, and the film landed on me like a ton of bricks. Surreal, violent, beautiful, explicit, and for a mythology nut, seeing how the film dealt with each of the characters, each of the Arthurian archetypes, I was in love. One of the guys who made an impression in the film was a young Liam Neeson, and for the rest of the '80s, he racked up a number of performances where, good film or bad, he made an impression. How could he not? No one else looked like him. Slightly over eight feet tall, »
- Drew McWeeny
The folks over at Studiocanal have acquired the rights to the ‘Victor The Assassin’ book series. Written by British novelist Tom Wood, the series currently stands at four books, the first being ‘The Killer’ or ‘The Hunter’ as it was titled in the UK. Victor is an assassin with no surname, no history, and who prefers to live alone and get the job done. The series has become immensely popular and now it looks as though he’ll be heading to the big screen.
Pierre Morel, who has flexed his action muscles with District 13, Taken, and From Paris With Love, as well as the upcoming The Gunman, will helm the first installment of the series. It will also see Studiocanal, Morel, and the producers of The Gunman reunite, which suggests a good working relationship that’s always a plus.
Although the premise for The Killer/The Hunter (who knows »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Don’t worry, not *that* The Killer. While someone will eventually remake John Woo’s Hong Kong film of the same name, this is about Pierre Morel (District B13, Taken) directing an adaptation of the Victor the Assassin book series by Tom Wood. The first book in the series was released as The Killer in the Us (it’s called The Hunter in […]
- Russ Fischer
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
Expiration, The Killer, and other films have all made recent film casting, screenwriting, and director news. These films come from movie studios primarily based in the United States. The castings, screenwriters, and directors are subject to change. Daughter of God Keanu Reeves and Spain-based Ana De Armas will star in Gee Malik Linton’s mystery-thriller “Daughter [...]
Continue reading: Film Casting: Expiration, Pierre Morel Directing The Killer »
- Rollo Tomasi
Tom Wood's series of books based around the character of Victor the Assassin have a lot going for them. Packed with action, solid plots, and with a cold freelance assassin as a central character, Wood keeps things moving quickly, and his novels are enjoyable reads.
And now they're coming to the movies.
Pierre Morel, who helmed the original Taken movie, is to direct a big screen take on the first Victor the Assassin book, The Killer (or The Hunter, depending on where you live). This one kicks off in Paris, sees a seemingly standard job go wrong, and Victor finds himself in the crosshairs of some rather unpleasant people.
There's no word yet on who will take on the title role. But if the first film does well, there are four »
Since revitalizing and reshaping the career of Liam Neeson with Taken, director Pierre Morel hasn't really done much to write home about. There was From Paris with Love, which had its moments, but it was hardly a success. There's a chance he might deliver something cool with The Gunman, starring Sean Penn, which arrives in February of 2015, but we can't be sure since we've yet to see a trailer. But the film must have gone well since THR reports Morel is reteaming with its producers, Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman from The Picture Company, for an adaptation of Tom Wood's Victor the Assassin book series. More below! Studiocanal is behind the project that will adapt The Killer (or The Hunter in the United Kingdom), the first book in the series, for the big screen. Not unlike Jack Reacher or Jack Ryan, the book series follows the same character: Victor, »
- Ethan Anderton
Taken director Pierre Morel is showing no signs of moving away from action, at least for his big screen career. He’s just made a deal to direct The Killer for Studiocanal, based on Tom Wood’s book series.Wood’s tomes, which are collectively known as the Victor The Assassin series, were first published in the Us and the UK in 2011 with the debut of The Killer, though the title was changed to The Hunter here in Blighty.The film will follow a mysterious assassin with no last name who, in classicmovie hit man style, is double-crossed and must go on the run to find the truth about those trying to take him down. It does sound awfully familiar, though Wood’s books have been praised for finding new, creative ways to explore the story, something that will hopefully carry over to the adaptation. And while Morel hasn’t »
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