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Exclusive: As we wait for the acquisition titles here at Toronto to get moving, Relativity has scored its second deal for a film not in the festival. Relativity has closed U.S. distribution rights to the Lotus Entertainment thriller Kidnap, which stars Halle Berry and will be directed by Luis Prieto from a script by Knate Gwaltney. Production on the thriller begins this fall. This follows Relativity’s deal on the fest’s opening day for Woman In Black 2, which is in the can.
It’s also the second deal for Lotus and Gold Star Films, the Kidnap financiers. They previously made a pre-fest North American rights deal with Lionsgate on Maggie, the Henry Hobson-directed zombie film that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin, the latter playing the title character who goes through the slow corpsey metamorphosis. Lotus is selling international on Kidnap, a task made easier given Berry »
- Mike Fleming Jr
A Hologram For The King, the upcoming drama that reunites Tom Hanks with his Cloud Atlas director Tom Tykwer, has drawn attention from buyers in Toronto, with Lotus Entertainment closing multiple international territories. The film doesn't yet have a U.S. distributor. The adaptation of the Dave Eggers' best-seller about a failed American businessman who tries to sell his idea to a wealthy Arab monarch co-stars Sarita Choudhury (Homeland), Omar Elba (Intelligence), Tracey Fairaway (Enough Said), David Menkin (Zero Dark Thirty) and Tom Skerritt (Ted). Lotus sold Hologram to Scandinavia, Benelux, Poland, Portugal and all of Latin American
- Scott Roxborough
Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel and the sales team have closed deals in Scandinavia (Mis.Label); Latin America excluding Mexico (Swen); Benelux (A-Film Benelux Rechten); Poland (Monolith); Portugal (Pris Audiovisuais); and the former Yugoslavia (Blitz Film).
Lotus has also licensed rights in Hong Kong (Golden Scene); Singapore (Shaw Renters); Taiwan (Caichang Int’l); Thailand (Mono Film); and China (Hgc Entertainment).
Further deals closed in Greece, Cypress, Turkey, Middle East, India and Pakistan (Italia Film); Iceland (Myndform); Israel (United King); Bulgaria and Romania (Programs4 Media); South Africa (MNet.) and airlines (Cinesky).
X Filme Creative Pool co-produced the feature and retains rights for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, while executive producer Fábrica de Cine controls Mexico and Spain.
A previously announced Icon Film Distribution holds UK rights to the tale of a man teetering on the brink of insolvency »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Lotus Entertainment announced today that Ed Gass-Donnelly (Small Town Murder Songs, The Last Exorcism Part II) will write and direct the new sci-fi thriller Pivot. When a scientist's loving wife is killed, he invents a device to Pivot between parallel universes to save her life, but to be with her, he'll have to kill the parallel version of himself. Lotus' Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson will produce the film, with D.J. Gugenheim and Ara Keshishian of Lotus executive producing alongside Ed Gass-Donnelly.
"A high-quality concept like Pivot is exactly the type of project we were looking for. Ed has the perfect approach to bring Pivot to life and we are eager to embark on our journey."
Donnelly is known for his hands-on method to film - often serving as director, producer, writer, and editor. He made his feature debut, »
I'm a sucker for solid political thrillers, and this one definitely has my attention, if only because it's set in an African country (Kenya), with a black African cast and crew, and is a 4th collaboration between German filmmaker Tom Tykwer's One Fine Day Films, and Nairobi (Kenya)-based Ginger Ink - a project we first alerted you to a year ago, when it was beginning principal photography. S&A has covered every film that's been developed under the One Fine Day Films/Ginger Ink collab: "Soul Boy," from director Hawa Essuman, "Nairobi Half Life," from director David Tosh Gitonga, and most recently, "Something Necessary," »
- Tambay A. Obenson
The UK’s Icon Film Distribution has acquired A Hologram For The King. The Tom Tykwer-directed comedic drama stars Tom Hanks and is based on the eponymous novel by Dave Eggers which Tykwer adapted. Also starring are Sarita Choudhury, Omar Elba, Tracey Fairaway, David Menkin and Tom Skerritt. The highly-anticipated picture takes place far away from the recession-weary U.S., as an up-and-coming Saudi Arabian city provides the backdrop for foundering American businessman Alan Clay’s (Hanks) last-ditch effort to stave off bankruptcy, pay his daughter’s college fees, and accomplish something grand. Producers are Uwe Schott and Stefan Arndt of X Filme Creative […] »
Hanks plays Alan Clay, an American salesmen who finds himself in Saudi Arabia making a desperate bid to save his ailing career after the construction of a huge new complex in the middle of the desert.
The film is currently in post-production, following shooting in Morocco, Germany, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Tykwer, who co-directed Hanks in “Cloud Atlas” with the Wachowski siblings, adapted the script to “Hologram” from the novel by Dave Eggers. Joining Hanks in the cast are Sarita Choudhury (“Homeland”), Omar Elba (“Intelligence”), Tracey Fairaway (“Enough Said”), David Menkin (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Tom Skerritt (“Ted,” “Top Gun”).
The film is set in an up-and-coming Saudi Arabian city, which provides the backdrop for the last-ditch efforts by foundering American businessman Alan Clay (Hanks) to stave off bankruptcy, pay his daughter’s college fees, and accomplish something great. It is described as “a gentle, crazy, wistful ballad.”
Pic is in post-production, following shoots in Morocco, Germany, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
- Leo Barraclough
London – U.K. distributor Icon said Friday that it had picked up the local rights to the Tom Hanks-starring comedy drama A Hologram for the King. Directed by Tom Tykwer and adapted from the 2012 book by Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King follows the story of a struggling U.S. businessman who journeys to Saudi Arabia to try to secure an It contract in a last-ditch attempt to save his career. Photos Tom Hanks Goes Disney: The Making of 'Saving Mr. Banks' Shooting on the film, which also stars Sarita Choudhury, Omar Elba, Tracey Fairaway,
- Alex Ritman
Though it boasts handsome production values and Tom Tykwer amongst its producer team, Kenyan crime thriller Veve is otherwise a catalog of missed and squandered opportunities, a thriller that simply fails to thrill thanks to a script overstuffed with unengaging subplots and two dimensional characters going through the motions of an overly familiar scenario and an utter lack of performers with any significant charisma. Back country politician Amos is the classic big fish in a small pond, a man of immense ambitions whose smooth and polished exterior covers a ruthless lust for increased power and money, both of which come via his involvement in the trade of veve (also known as khat), a relatively mild narcotic. Amos controls the veve supply in his region, the...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
A complex exploration of the trade in khat, a mildly narcotic crop grown in the East African nation, pic marks helmer Simon Mukali’s feature debut.
“(One Fine Day) gave me a chance to do this feature film that I had visualized in my head, but I didn’t know if it would happen,” he says. “It was a big show of faith.”
“(Diff) was the best possible platform to launch our Kenyan film,” says producer Sarika Lakhani, noting that “Half-Life” built on its Durban buzz with screenings at the AFI Film Fest and Rotterdam. »
- Christopher Vourlias
(Cbr) It’s all "Groundhog Day’s" fault. The 1993 comedy hit, which stars Bill Murray as a snarky weatherman forced to re-live the same day over and over again until he becomes a better person, made the idea of a time loop a very popular narrative device for movies and television — and for good reason. There isn’t one person who hasn’t had a day they wish they could take a mulligan on. It’s a very relatable idea, and it’s easy to see why Hollywood keeps going back to the time-loop well. With "Edge of Tomorrow" becoming the latest member of the “Groundhog Day-ing It Club,” Spinoff looks back at some of the most memorable TV and movie do-overs. “Cause and Effect” ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") Actually, maybe we should blame this fifth season episode of Tng, which aired in 1992 — a year before "Groundhog Day. »
- Phil Pirrello, Comic Book Resources
Sony Pictures Classics honchos Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have been feted up one side and down the other lately. The duo celebrated 20 years of Spc in 2012 and have received awards from the Museum of the Moving Image and the Gotham Awards as of late. Tonight they will receive the Los Angeles Film Festival's Spirit of Independence Award as the love keeps pouring in. Given that we recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Fox Searchlight — another crucial entity in the indie film space — it seemed like we were over due for a similar appreciation of Sony Classics' 22 years of output. The interesting thing, though, is that unlike Searchlight, there isn't necessarily anything outwardly identifiable about Sony Classics films as, well, "Sony Classics films." They all have a strong whiff of good taste but they don't have the heavy marketing footprint of some of the studio's contemporaries. Barker and Bernard's cinephile passion is always evident, »
- Gregory Ellwood, Guy Lodge, Kristopher Tapley
Shanghai — Oriental DreamWorks, the joint venture between DreamWorks Animation and a trio of Chinese companies, has unveiled a diversified live-action and animation development slate of third-party content.
The Shanghai-based company has struck development deals with a trio of local Chinese companies, spanning five feature film projects.
This is a significant departure from the company’s previous mission, which was originally focused on in-house developed animated features, such as the now in production “Kung Fu Panda 3.” The change of tack was first signalled by Variety in September last year.
The deal includes an untitled historical period epic based on a screenplay by Wang Huiling, who previously wrote “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” and whose novel is currently being filmed as “The Crossing” by John Woo. »
- Patrick Frater
Jan Ole Gerster's debut feature, A Coffee in Berlin (originally titled Oh Boy), arrives in the U.S. riding a wave of success, having swept several major categories at the 2013 German Film Awards, where its main competition was Cloud Atlas (co-directed by Gerster's friend Tom Tykwer).
By comparison, Gerster's film is agreeably modest: an 85-minute, black-and-white, jazz-scored film, with a Frances Ha tone, about a day in the life of twentysomething law-school dropout Niko Fischer (Tom Schilling). Niko's life is defined by indecision: He's moved into a new apartment, but hasn't unpacked his boxes yet; he's a smoker, but he doesn't carry a lighter (at home, he uses his toaster).
Gerster and cinematographer Philipp Kirsamer frequently frame Niko »
Want to know the real reason why Warner Bros. is pushing back "Matrix" creators Andy and Lana Wachowski's “Jupiter Ascending,” starring Mila Kunis and a puckish Channing Tatum, from summer-season July 18 to off-peak Feb. 6, 2015? It's not only the recent studio trend to invest more time and money in already expensive would-be tentpoles rather than risk not pleasing audiences. Sure, the Wachowskis --whose ambitious and partly self-financed last effort with Tom Tykwer, "Cloud Atlas," was a dud at the global box office, topping out at $126 million worldwide-- could use more time to tinker with editing and VFX. That's the official reason behind the move. It's also that Warners doesn't want to gamble on two potential losses in the same quarter. Heading toward the opening weekend for Doug Liman's brainy $178-million Tom Cruise-starrer "Edge of Tomorrow," the studio was already worried about its weak tracking. Sure enough, the movie »
- Anne Thompson
The Hollywood Reporter is telling us today that Daniel Radcliffe is eyeing You Shall Know Our Velocity as his next project. An adaptation of Dave Eggers’ best-selling novel of the same name, the film tells the story of “two mismatched friends who go on a journey around the world.”
Currently being shopped around at Cannes, You Shall Know Our Velocity will have the Harry Potter star playing one of the friends, who’s described as a “bookish and awkward young man.” The other lead role, which still isn’t cast, is that of a “self-proclaimed ladies’ man who is hoping to take a late friend’s ashes to the Egyptian pyramids.”
If Eggers’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s penned several Hollywood scripts (Away We Go, Where the Wild Things Are), and has a couple adaptations of his novels currently in development. Most notable is A Hologram for the King, »
- Matt Joseph
While author Dave Eggers has made some solid inroads in Hollywood—penning the scripts for "Away We Go" and "Where The Wild Things Are," and coming up with the story for "Promised Land"—his own works have faced a tougher road when it comes to adapting them to the big screen, though that's changing. Jonathan Demme's "Zeitoun" continues to percolate in development, Tom Tykwer's "A Hologram For The King," starring Tom Hanks, just dropped the first image yesterday, and now a long gestating project has some fresh talent involved. Daniel Radcliffe is in talks to star in an adaptation of Eggers' acclaimed "You Shall Know Our Velocity." This one has been kicking around for a while, and at one time Miguel Arteta ("The Good Girl," "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day") had been tapped to direct, but it didn't come together. "I had a »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Producers are Tim Perell for Process and Michael Benaroya (“Margin Call”) for Benaroya Pictures. Intl. Film Trust is handling all international rights in Cannes while CAA and UTA are representing the domestic sales rights.
“Velocity” is scheduled to start shooting next spring with Sollett directing from Wells Tower’s adaptation about two mismatched friends — Radcliffe’s bookish and awkward Will and the self-proclaimed ladies’ man Hand, who set out on a two-week trip around the world and a $32,000 insurance payoff from their friend’s fatal car accident with the goal of giving away the windfall to those in need.
- Dave McNary
A Hologram for the King: The first look at "dramatic comedy" A Hologram for the King reveals Tom Hanks in the middle of a desert. He plays a businessman trying to sell a hologram teleconferencing system to the Saudi Arabian king; the movie is based on a novel by Dave Eggers. Tom Tykwer is directing; the two previously worked together on Cloud Atlas. [Movies.com] Marvel: Previously rumored for a role in Star Wars: Episode VII, Zac Efron is now being rumored for an unidentified Marvel project. It's not surprising that Efron would be rumored for such high-profile properties; he's steadily built credibility as a dramatic actor, and his performance opposite Seth Rogen in Neighbors confirms his ability to topline a popular comedy. Is he ready to leap into...
- Peter Martin
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