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Hammer, eOne Nail First-Look Pact For Production, Financing & Distribution

29 minutes ago

An iconic brand, London-based Hammer has had a resurgence over the past few years beginning with smash horror pic The Woman In Black in 2012. Expanding on a relationship that started with that film — via Alliance — and carried over to its upcoming sequel, Hammer and eOne have inked an exclusive multi-year first-look agreement, which includes production, financing and distribution. Under the pact, eOne will distribute Hammer films in Canada, the UK, Benelux, Spain and Australia/New Zealand. EOne Films International will handle the rest of the overseas territories. (Hammer films were previously sold by the now-defunct Exclusive.) EOne has been expanding its production business this year with Xavier Marchand as President of production and Harold van Lier heading up international. The company has also been going slightly more mainstream in offshore markets. Hammer’s other recent credits include Matt ReevesLet Me In and The Quiet Ones with Sam Claflin. The Woman In Black sequel, »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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‘The Water Diviner’ Trailer: Russell Crowe’s Epic Feature Helming Debut

1 hour ago

The Weinstein Co acquired Russell Crowe‘s feature directing debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May, where 12 minutes of the film was screened. I saw footage of The Water Diviner at Cine Europe in Barcelona in June and there is definitely an epic feel to the picture based on what was shown there. Crowe plays an Australian farmer who travels to Turkey four years after the battle of Gallipoli in search of his sons who have been reported missing in action. Olga Kurylenko plays the hotel owner with whom he forges a relationship and Jai Courtney is a soldier organizing the effort to identify the tens of thousands of soldiers killed. He reluctantly allows the grieving father to stay and look for his sons’ bodies. Written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastassios, The Water Diviner is a RatPac Entertainment film and is executive produced by Brett Ratner and James Packer. »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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‘Horrible Bosses 2′ Trailer: Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz Do Bad Biz In Sequel

13 hours ago

Self-employed buddies Kurt, Nick and Dale (Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day) go up against Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz in the sequel to 2011’s $209M comedy. This time they’ve gone into business for themselves, but turn to Dean ‘Mf’ Jones (Jamie Foxx) for help kidnapping a double-crossing investor. Sean Anders directed the film and co-wrote the script with John Morris. WB will unleash Horrible Bosses 2 in the holiday frame on November 26. Here’s the latest trailer:

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- The Deadline Team

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‘The Killer’ Movie: Alex Holmes Set To Adapt For Pierre Morel, Studiocanal

15 hours ago

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.

Holmes comes out of the UK and is an up-and-coming director-writer who just adapted Ex-Pats for CBS Films and who helmed the Lance Armstrong docu Stop At Nothing, »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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China’s ‘Breakup Buddies': Follow-Up To Smash ‘Lost In Thailand’ Palling Around At Home & Abroad (Video)

15 hours ago

With China‘s National Day holiday officially kicking off Wednesday, the Middle Kingdom box office is poised for an extra boost thanks to today’s timely release of Breakup Buddies. The comedy is a sort of follow-up to smash hit Lost In Thailand. That film was key to a surge in local box office at the end of 2012 and made headlines around the globe. Breakup Buddies, which is particularly racy as far as Chinese movies go (check out the trailer above), has the added cachet of releasing in the U.S. later this week. China Lion picked up the film for North America and Australia/New Zealand ahead of its Toronto Film Festival premiere and will send it out in those markets at the end of this week. Im Global acquired the rights before Toronto and is handling it internationally.

The film stars Xu Zheng and Huang Bo and is »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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After Moving Slow As Corpse, ‘Zombieland 2′ Gets Writer And Urgency

15 hours ago

Exclusive: Sony Pictures looks to be getting more serious about mounting another installment of Zombieland. Studio just hired Dave Callaham to write the sequel under the supervision of Ruben Fleischer, who’ll return to direct. Callaham’s script Barrow became The Expendables, and his recent credits include Legendary’s revival of Godzilla, and most recently Jackpot, a Focus Features film based on a story by Swedish crime writer Jo Nesbo that has Will Gluck producing. It was that darkly comic tale that sparked Sony to hire him for the Zombieland sequel. Callaham also did a production rewrite on Marvel’s Ant-Man. Insiders at the studio said no deal with Fleischer, but that of corpse they are getting serious about mounting the sequel of a 2009 cult favorite sleeper film that grossed $100 million worldwide. Not sure if the participants will be back; pretty much all of them have soared since making the original, »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Jai Courtney Joins Dito Montiel’s ‘Man Down’

16 hours ago

Exclusive: Jai Courtney has joined the cast of Man Down, the psychological thriller from helmer Dito Montiel that’s ramping up to begin filming next month in Louisiana. The A Good Day To Die Hard and Divergent actor joins Shia Labeouf, Gary Oldman, Kate Mara and Toby Kebbell in the story of Gabriel Drummer, a haunted Afghanistan war veteran who attempts to come to terms with his past while searching for his family in a post-apocalyptic America. Courtney will play the role of Devin, Gabriel’s best friend who served with him in the war. Montiel is directing from a screenplay by Adam Simon. Dawn Krantz, Stephen McEveety, and Jon Burton are producers. Courtney’s upcoming slate includes studio sci-fiers Terminator: Genisys and Insurgent, in which he reprises his role from Ya hit Divergent, as well as Russell Crowe’s war drama The Water Diviner and Angelina Jolie’s award season biopic Unbroken. »


- Jen Yamato

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Is the Movie Business Healthy Or Hurting? Deadline’s Fleming and Busch Duke It Out In DeadlineNow Video

16 hours ago

Is the movie business doing well, or is it in trouble? After a summer that was down double digits from 2013, rampant runaway production, and layoffs at multiple major studios, some would argue it’s been a bad year in the middle of a long, slow decline.

On the other hand, there are new investors, bringing lots of money and optimism to the game, including former Warner Bros. executive Jeff Robinov and and his overseas backers, and Robert Simonds‘ Stx. Who’s right?

Deadline’s editor in chief Mike Fleming Jr. and film editor Anita Busch take on the question that’s complicating life for too many in Hollywood. Guess which one’s the bull and which one’s the bear…

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- Mike Fleming Jr and Anita Busch

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AMC Joins Opposition To ‘Crouching Tiger 2′; IMAX Chief Urges Theaters To Reconsider

17 hours ago

The No. 2 chain, AMC Entertainment, just joined other major exhibitors that say they won’t offer Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend on their IMAX screens next year when it simultaneously debuts on Netflix. “We license just the technology from IMAX,” AMC says. “Only AMC and [its parent company] Wanda decide what programming plays in our respective theatres. No one has approached us to license this made-for-video sequel in the U.S. or China, so one must assume the screens IMAX committed are in science centers and aquariums.”

The No. 1 exhibition chain, Regal, said this morning that it won’t  show the movie. Carmike joined the fray, saying it’s “committed to an exclusive theatrical release” and therefore is “opposed to showing day and date releases at our entertainment complexes.”  Cinemark also nixed the film. And Europe’s Cineworld, the continent’s top IMAX operator, joined the opposition: “We bring our customers »


- David Lieberman

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Dylan Sellers Exits President Post at TWC

18 hours ago

Exclusive: After three years as president of production and acquisitions at The Weinstein Company, Dylan Sellers will be leaving the company and transitioning back to producing films. His contract’s up; he won’t have a producing deal at TWC, but might produce a film or two there as he sets up his next course. Sellers is working out those details right now with TWC COO David Glasser, who’ll soon be looking for an executive to fill that prexy role.

Sellers moved to TWC from Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne’s Unique Pictures, and given how strong and intense a presence Harvey Weinstein is on the production and acquisition fronts, three years in that job is a pretty good run. He was involved in such pics as August: Osage County and the upcoming St. Vincent, the Theodore Melfi-directed comedy that stars Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy and which »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Red Granite Hires Mika Pryce As Creative Executive

18 hours ago

Former Langley Park Pictures story editor Mika Pryce has been tapped as creative executive at Red Granite Pictures, the indie finance, production and distribution outfit run by Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland. Pryce, who also has worked at Evolution Media Capital and Lionsgate International, will report to Red Granite president of production David Koplan.

Red Granite has Alexandre Aja’s Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple coming out October 31 via Radius-twc and is behind the Farrelly brothers’ Dumb And Dumber To which Universal releases November 14. On its development slate is The General, based on the story of George Washington, and The Brigands Of Rattleborge, the onetime Black List script about bandits who terrorize a Old West town under the cover of a torrential rain storm.

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- The Deadline Team

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Dennis Quaid Joins Dan Rather-George W. Bush Scandal Pic ‘Truth’

18 hours ago

Exclusive: Dennis Quaid has landed the role of Col. Roger Charles in Truth, the story of the scandal that ended the careers of veteran CBS newsman Dan Rather and 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes. The film stars Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett in those two roles, with James Vanderbilt directing his script. Film starts shooting this week. Elizabeth Moss also signed on.

Quaid’s character served two tours in Vietnam, then in the Pentagon before becoming a liaison working with 60 Minutes II. He was invaluable in working with Mapes when she broke the blockbuster scandalous news story of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. On the heels of that triumph, Charles chased the rumor that then-President George W. Bush had ducked serving in Vietnam after he graduated Yale in 1968 and instead got a cushy gig in the National Guard because of the clout of his father, who was an ambassador at the time. »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Quvenzhane Wallis To Star In Bestseller ‘Counting By 7s’

20 hours ago

Exclusive: The Mazur/Kaplan Company and Olympus Pictures have optioned Holly Goldberg Sloan’s bestselling novel Counting By 7s. They’ve attached Oscar-nominated Beasts Of The Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis and will build the movie around her. The bestseller centers on Willow Chance, a bright young girl who, after the death of her adoptive parents, is taken in by an unlikely surrogate family and an unfit guidance counselor. In the wake of tremendous loss, she rises to build a community that she heals and that heals her.

“I am honored to play the role of Willow in Counting by 7s,” Wallis said. “I love the message behind the story. I am excited to be a part of it and to see it come to life.” Wallis just wrapped her first big studio film in the musical Annie, and also will star in the upcoming adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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‘Midnight Rider’ Trial Date Set For Indicted Filmmakers; 1st Assistant Director Hillary Schwartz Turns Herself In

23 hours ago

Updated With New Info: A trial date of March 9, 2015 has been set in the manslaughter and criminal trespass case of the four filmmakers indicted in the on-set death of 27-year-old Midnight Rider camera assistant Sarah Jones. Pre-trial motions will be heard for two days prior, on February 12-13, and jury selection will start a month later on March 9. The order was issued early this morning by Judge Anthony Harrison in the Wayne County (Ga) Superior Court during a special status conference hearing. All discovery must be entered into the court by December 10, 2014.

Meanwhile, newly indicted first assistant director Hillary Schwartz appeared in the Wayne County Superior Court Tuesday during the status conference attended by all lawyers from those indicted in this case. The court issued orders about further discovery, motions, whether cameras would be allowed in the courtroom (they will be via Rule 22 with five days notice), and other procedural issues. »


- Anita Busch and Jen Yamato

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Regal Won’t Show ‘Crouching Tiger 2′ On Its IMAX Screens

30 September 2014 7:06 AM, PDT

The No. 1 exhibition chain won’t give IMAX, Netflix and The Weinstein Co a free pass with their initiative to disrupt theaters’ effort to remain the exclusive venue to see major new films. The three companies said yesterday that  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend will premiere on Netflix and IMAX screens beginning when it premieres August 28, 2015. But Regal’s Russ Nunley says today that that the chain “will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3 inches wide on a smart phone. We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear.” He adds that this is part of the company’s commitment to “continually enhance the moviegoing experience.”

Many analysts figured that Regal and other exhibition chains would buck at the attempt to debut movies on Netflix, which won’t charge extra for subscribers to see the film. »


- David Lieberman

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Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey Ascend ‘The Ones Below’ From ‘Hanna’ Scribe David Farr

30 September 2014 6:08 AM, PDT

Hanna co-writer David Farr is making his feature directing debut with The Ones Below, a psychological thriller that’s just kicked off principal photography in London. Not to be confused with Legendary and Universal’s current catacombs pic As Above/So Below, The Ones Below focuses on two affluent couples living above and below each other whose lives become fatally interlinked. Clémence Poésy (The Tunnel, Harry Potter), David Morrissey (The Walking Dead), Stephen Campbell Moore (The History Boys) and Finnish actress Laura Birn (A Walk Among The Tombstones) star in the ensemble that’s also scripted by Farr.

The story follows upstairs couple Kate (Poésy) and Justin (Campbell Moore) who are expecting their first baby, and Jon (Morrissey) and Teresa (Birn) who move in downstairs and are also expecting a child. In contrast to Kate, Teresa is full of joy at the prospect of imminent motherhood. Pregnancy brings the women together in shared confidence, »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Musical Headed To Japan; Steve McQueen Set For European Film Academy Honor; More

29 September 2014 10:00 PM, PDT

Disney Theatrical Productions and Shiki Theatre Company are bringing Aladdin to Tokyo. This is the first international production of the Broadway musical comedy and is hitting a market where Disney’s feature animation Frozen recently grossed a record-breaking $250M. Performances will begin in May at the Dentsu Shiki Theatre Umi in Tokyo. Produced on Broadway by Disney Theatrical Productions, Aladdin opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 20 and features music by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Oscar winner Howard Ashman and Tony and Oscar winner Tim Rice, and Tony nominee Chad Beguelin. Lyrics will be translated into Japanese by Chikae Takahashi, who worked on the Japanese translation for Frozen. The Tokyo production will be cast locally and performed in Japanese. This marks the fifth collaboration between Disney Theatrical Productions and Shiki Theatre Company following the successful and current runs of Beauty And The Beast, The Lion King, »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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‘Bone Tomahawk’ Adds Five To Cast; Kristina Lauren Anderson To Adapt Ya Novel ‘Invisibility’

29 September 2014 9:21 PM, PDT

Lili Simmons, David Arquette, Sid Haig, Kathryn Morris and Evan Jonigkeit have joined the cast of writer-director S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk. Kurt RussellPatrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins star in the brutal tale of four men attempting to rescue captives from a band of cannibals who live on the edge of civilization. Simmons (True Detective) will play Samantha O’Dwyer, the de facto town doctor and dedicated wife Wilson’s character. Arquette (the Scream films) and Haig (The Devil’s Rejects) play a couple of filthy brigands whose actions set off a string of violent repercussions. Morris (Cold Case) will play the wife of Russell’s Sheriff Hunt, and Jonigkeit (Girls) will play a young deputy sheriff. Caliber Media’s Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller are producing the film.

Kristina Lauren Anderson has been tapped to adapt the Warner Bros feature Invisibility from the supernatural romance »


- The Deadline Team

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Netflix Sets ‘Crouching Tiger 2′ As 1st Feature; Hollywood’s Nightmare?

29 September 2014 6:01 PM, PDT

Breaking: While Hollywood studios and exhibitors endlessly spar over shortening the window between theatrical and home viewing on feature films, you just knew that someone was going to take a bona fide movie, bypass theaters and go right to home viewing. Not surprisingly, it’s Netflix, already a disruptive force with series including House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. The pay service has just contracted with The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein to release its first major feature film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend. Sort of a sequel to the Ang Lee-directed 2000 martial arts epic that won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, the film will premiere exclusively on Netflix, and it will simultaneously have a berth in IMAX theaters. The release is August 28, 2015.

Yuen Wo-Ping is directing a script by John Fusco, and Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen star. Lee is not involved in this, »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Int’l Box Office Update: ‘The Equalizer’ Clocks $19M In Debut; ‘Maze Runner’ Races To $92.3M; ‘Gone Girl’ On Deck; More

29 September 2014 5:41 PM, PDT

Final Update, 3:30 Pm: Final grosses have been updated for the following films: The Equalizer, The Maze Runner, The Boxtrolls, Annabelle, Lucy, Hercules, Into the Storm, Let’s Be Cops, The Drop, If I Stay, The Dwarf, Boyhood, Get On Up, Sex Tape, horror films The Purge: Anarchy and As Above/So Below, 22 Jump Street, El Nino, Relatos Salvajes, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, and the big U.S. tentpoles Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also added are the thriller about hacking

2Nd Update, 6:37 Pm Pt: Despite the arrival of The Equalizer on 4,994 international screens, for a total take of $19M (including Village Roadshow markets), and the continued effort of The Maze Runner, this was a reasonably quiet overseas weekend whose initial estimates for the Top 10 studio releases are down about 15% on last frame. Those numbers don »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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