XYZ Films has joined Spanish-language actioner Redeemer as executive producer and sales agent. The movie, Redentor in Spanish, stars Chile’s Marko Zaror (Expendables 2, Machete Kills). He’s teaming for the fourth time with writer director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza. This time around, the story follows a former hitman who has made a deal with God: Every day he will hold a gun to his own head and pull the trigger; each time he does not die, he will take it as a sign that he is meant to continue hunting down the men he used to work for. Principal photography starts on March 24 in Chile. Zaror is a highly trained martial artist across multiple disciplines who performs all of his own fight and stunt work without any wires or CGI tricks. Espinoza recently was editor on Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno and his credits as director also include Kiltro, The ABCs Of Death anthology and Bring Me The Head Of The Machine Gun Woman. Espinoza, Zaror and Diego Moral Heimpell are producers.
Principal photography started Monday on Testament Of Youth, the Heyday Films and BBC Films production of Vera Brittain’s World War I memoir. Alicia Vikander is playing writer feminist and pacifist Brittain, and Kit Harrington plays Roland Leighton, her fiancé. Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan, Dominic West, Emily Watson, Joanna Scanlan, Hayley Atwell, Jonathan Bailey, Alexandra Roach, and Anna Chancellor are also in the cast. James Kent (The White Queen) is directing from a script by Juliette Towhidi who adapted the screenplay from Brittain’s remembrance of love and war, which was first published in 1933. Gravity’s David Heyman is producing with Rosie Alison via Heyday. Co-producer is Celia Duval and exec producers are Christine Langan and Joe Oppenheimer for BBC Films; Richard Mansell, and Zygi Kamasa for Lionsgate UK. Lionsgate is distributing in the UK and Australia with Protagonist Pictures handling international sales.
Sierra/Engine Television has made several international deals on upcoming 13-episode series Black Box. The medical procedural has gone to RTL in the Netherlands, VMMA in Belgium, Zon Lusomundo in Portugal, DBS in Israel and Blue Sky Media in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia/CIS, Greece and Cyprus. Pay-TV rights have also been acquired in South Africa and Turkey. Produced by Bold Films, and created by Amy Holden Jones, the series stars Kelly Reilly, Vanessa Redgrave, and Terry Kinney. It follows Dr. Catherine Black (Reilly), a brilliant neurologist with a special touch for the patients she treats each week as she is challenged by extraordinary cases in medical science. She’s also hiding a secretly bipolar life. Simon Curtis directs the series which is exec produced by Bryan Singer, Jones, showrunner Ilene Chaiken, Anne Thomopoulos, and Oly Obst. It debuts on ABC in the U.S. on April 24.
Discovery Networks International has ordered five-part series Marooned from the UK’s Tigress Productions. Led by adventurer and survivalist Ed Stafford, whose previous credits include the Discovery Channel series Walking The Amazon and Naked And Marooned, the show debuts in Russia on March 31. It will also air internationally on Discovery Channel in all of DNI’s 224 territories. It arrives in the UK in May and will travel to the U.S. later in the year. Marooned sees Stafford strive to prove that he can tackle the challenges of any environment armed with nothing but his camera. Locations include the Gran Sabana mountains of Venezuela, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, the coast of Western Australia and the jungles of Borneo. Helen Hawken is executive producer for DNI, Dick Colthurst is executive producer and Matt Brandon is producer for Tigress.
Lifetime is launching its first-ever global premiere event with the debut of Return To Zero. The film, based on the true story of a couple who faced very rough odds to have a child, is written, directed and produced by Sean Hanish. Minnie Driver, Paul Adelstein, Alfred Molina, Connie Nielsen, Sarah Jones, Andrea Anders and Kathy Baker star in the film that will debut in the States on May 17 as well as in Canada, the UK, Spain, France, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, and Hong Kong. A+E Networks is handling global sales. Cannonball Productions produced the movie that’s also produced by Paul Jaconi-Biery, and exec produced by Kelly Kahl.