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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
Voltage Pictures has picked up May You Live in Interesting Times, an action spec written by Tony Jaswinski. The Picture Company, the newly formed shingle topped by Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, is attached to produce. Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig J. Flores are also producing. In a similar tonal vein as Lucy, the recent Luc Besson action hit that starred Scarlett Johansson, May You Live is a female-centric thriller that aims to be stylish and visceral. The story revolves around a highly trained female operative who works for a ruthless global intelligence organization and who is dispatched to
- Borys Kit
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
Exclusive: Sony Pictures has won a vigorous bidding battle pegged at high-six figures for In The Deep, a spec script by Tony Jaswinski that had created feeding frenzy all day. The film will be produced by former Warner Bros executive Lynn Harris; it is the first project she has put together with Matti Leshem in the new producing shingle Weimaraner Republic Pictures.
Shark week in September? Bidders included Sony Pictures and Warner Bros, both of which had Harris set up as producer. Fox had made an offer with another upstart producer pairing, former Silver Pictures’ guys Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman. Paramount had been brokering the action all day for Jaswinski, whose film Kristy premieres at the London Film Festival next month.
Tonally, the spec is described as a cross between 127 Hours meets Jaws, with a touch of Gravity thrown in for good measure. A young woman who is dealing »
- Mike Fleming Jr
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
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 »
StudioCanal has acquired all of the novels in Tom Wood's Victor the Assassin series, with The Killer set to be the first adaptation. The book centers on an assassin with no last name who is double-crossed after an assignment in Paris, as he is chased around the world by intelligence agencies, rival assassins and the authorities.
No screenwriter has been attached to adapt the novel, but the adaptation will be produced by The Picture Company's Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, who produced Pierre Morel's upcoming movie The Gunman starring Sean Penn. Sentient Entertainment's Renee Tab and Christopher Tuffin are also producing.
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
Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, formerly of Silver Pictures, have launched The Picture Company, a new shingle backed by Studio Canal. The formation of the company comes after Rona and Heineman left their posts at Silver Pictures in January after a five-year run that saw the production of action hit Non-Stop and the comedy Project X, among other releases. The Picture Company will focus on making commercial films across all genres and will also make forays into television. One of Rona and Heineman’s hallmarks was working with emerging filmmakers and developing ideas in-house — Project X, which
- Borys Kit
Take a look at the latest release date announcements for the following films: The Gunman - Pierre Morel's action-thriller starring Sean Penn as a Ptsd-stricken war veteran will open February 20, 2015. Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Jasmine Trinca also star. The Forest - Jason Zada's supernatural thriller based on an idea from David S. Goyer will open January 8, 2016. Lucy - Luc Besson's action-thriller starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman moves up from August 8, 2014 to July 25, 2014. Check out the recently released international trailer here. Hit the jump for more on both films, including the new image from The Gunman. Take a look at the new image from The Gunman, following the film's synopsis: In The Gunman, Sean Penn stars as a former special forces soldier and military contractor suffering from Ptsd. He tries to reconnect with his long time love, but first must go on »
- Dave Trumbore
Sean Penn the new Liam Neeson? The Oscar winner is taking aim at Euro-action in the upcoming "The Gunman" from "Taken" director Pierre Morel and "The Matrix" producer Joel Silver. Open Road Films has set a release date for the film of February 20, 2015. In "The Gunman," Penn stars as a Ptsd-afflicted special forces vet who finds himself on the run from London to Barcelona after being falsely accused of a crime. It's based on Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel "The Prone Gunman." The film's impressive cast also includes such macho-yet-classy stars as Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, and Ray Winstone. Penn and Silver also produced the film along with Andrew Rona and executive producers Adrian Guerra and Peter McAleese. Penn was most recently seen in "Gangster Squad" and "The Secret life of Walter Mitty." »
- Dave Lewis
The Gunman centres on a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from Ptsd who tries to connect with his lost love while on a mission to clear his name.
The project is based on Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel The Prone Gunman.
Morel directed Taken and Distict B13. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
StudioCanal produced and financed the film, which is based on the novel “The Prone Gunman” by Jean-Patrick Manchette. The story follows a former special forces officer, played by Penn, who is suffering from Ptsd and must make a run across Europe to clear his name.
- Andrew Stewart
Heading into the Cannes market, Open Road Films has scooped up all U.S. rights to the political actioner "The Gunman," starring Sean Penn and directed by Pierre Morel ("Taken," "Transporter"). Even philanthropists have to collect a payday once in a while, so Penn seems to be following the Liam Neeson playbook--but has attracted a stellar ensemble around him including Idris Elba, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone and Mark Rylance. Adapted by Pete Travis from leftist Jean-Patrick Manchette’s noir novel "The Prone Gunman," the Euro-thriller follows a former special forces mercenary suffering from Ptsd (Penn) who wants to reconnect with his longtime flame (Jasmine Trinca)-- who has a husband (Bardem). Unfortunately various opponents are tracking our anti-hero as runs from Barcelona to London. The Studiocanal-financed big-budgeter was produced by Penn, Joel Silver and Andrew Rona and executive produced by Adrian Guerra and Peter »
- Anne Thompson
Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. rights to the Sean Penn action thriller “The Gunman” from StudioCanal, the company said Thursday. The film is directed by Pierre Morel (“Taken”) and co-stars Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Jasmine Trinca. Based on Jean-Patrick Manchette's novel “The Prone Gunman,” the thriller was produced by Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Penn and executive produced by Adrian Guerra and Peter McAleese. Also read: ‘Power Rangers’ Getting a Reboot Feature Film by Lionsgate Penn stars as a former special forces soldier and military contractor suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. »
- Todd Cunningham
Exclusive: In its latest aggressive pre-buy to line its slate with star-driven pictures, Open Road Films has on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival closed a deal to acquire U.S. rights to The Gunman, the action thriller that stars Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Jasmine Trinca. It was directed by Taken helmer Pierre Morel. The film was expected to be one of the hot titles for domestic distribution at the market that starts next week. The deal was made by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg and Studiocanal chairman/CEO Olivier Courson. It is a commitment for a big wide release. Based on the Jean-Patrick Manchette novel The Prone Gunman, the film stars Penn as a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from Ptsd. He tries to reconnect with his longtime love, but first must go on the run from London »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
As an action star, Liam Neeson can do no wrong.
The actor’s latest pic, Universal’s “Non-Stop,” estimated $30 million in its opening frame, enough to beat Fox’s overperformer “Son of God,” with $26.5 million, and Warner Bros.’ former box office champ “The Lego Movie,” which grossed $21 million through Sunday.
Making global headlines in the run-up to Sunday’s Oscarcast, Disney’s two-time nominated toon “Frozen” crossed the $1 billion mark, making it only the second 2013 release to do so — coincidentally, the Mouse had the other: “Iron Man 3.”
Another Oscar-nominated film to hit a milestone this weekend, Fox Searchlight’s best picture hopeful “12 Years a Slave” crossed the $50 million domestic mark after more than four months in theaters.
In limited release, Lionsgate-CodeBlack Films’ urban-targeted Forest Whitaker pic “Repentance” failed to attract much of its core demo, grossing just $530,000 from 152 locations, averaging $3,487 per screen.
The Metropolitan Opera celebrated its 75th live transmission this weekend, »
- Andrew Stewart
A pair of saviors battle for box office glory during Oscar weekend, with Universal’s Liam Neeson action-hero pic “Non-Stop” expected to gross in the mid-$20 millions, ahead of Fox’s Biblical drama “Son of God,” tracking in the mid-to-high teens.
“Non-Stop” should knock “The Lego Movie” from its three-week winning streak. The Warner Bros.-Village Roadshow hit toon is expected to land around $20 million (down around 35%) through Sunday; domestic cume is nearing $190 million.
Expectations for both wide new entries are difficult to nail down, however.
“Non-Stop,” for instance, battles comparisons to past Neeson action pics: “Taken” bowed to $24 million over Super Bowl weekend in 2008, while its sequel earned more than twice that during opening weekend in 2012.
“Son of God,” on the other hand, has seen sizable online ticket sales, according to both Fandango and Movietickets.com, though pre-sold tickets for the film weren’t necessarily for this weekend. So far, »
- Andrew Stewart
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