Sony Pictures Releasing International will distribute Stalingrad in Russia, with a date to be set. The first Russian-made feature to go out in IMAX 3D is an epic love story set during the devastating WWII battle for Stalingrad that lasted more than six months and ended with the German army surrendering in 1943. Machete Kills‘ Alexander Rodnyansky produces with Sergey Melkumov for Non-Stop Production and Dmitry Rudovsky for Art Pictures. Inhabited Island helmer Fedor Bondarchuk directs from a script by Iliya Tilkin and Sergey Snezhkin. Here’s the trailer:
Jonathan Deckter Named IM GLobal President
IM Global is heading to Cannes with a new president. Company CEO Stuart Ford has promoted Jonathan Deckter, a three-year veteran of the sales, financing and production outfit, just in time for the annual happenings on the Croisette. He was previously head of international sales and distribution. Elsewhere, IM Global also re-upped Bonnie Voland and her B. Voland company to oversee worldwide publicity and marketing and re-signed Tatyana Joffe as EVO International Sales.
Wild Bunch Names New Distribution Chief
France’s Wild Bunch Distribution has named the successor to chief Jean-Philippe Tirel who is stepping down to start his own acquisitions boutique. Former Pathé and Fox Searchlight exec Thierry Lacaze will take over leading the distributor backed up by the company’s existing team including Jérôme Rougier who runs acquisitions. The company has a slate of 22 films this year including official Cannes selection titles The Bastards from Claire Denis, La Vie D’Adèle from Abdellatif Kechiche and James Gray’s The Immigrant as well as Robert Rodriguez’ Machete Kills. Read More »
So is this a candidate for most gory trailer ever, joining a rogues’ gallery that off the top of our heads includes the likes of Machete Kills (see one of those here) and the latest Evil Dead (see that red-band one here)? Eli Roth certainly has put his stamp on Aftershock, which he stars in/produced/co-wrote with helmer Nicolas Lopez and leaves no blood unsplattered in a story about what happens after a major earthquake hits Chile — spoiler alert: nothing good happens. Audiences seem to love this stuff. Dimension Films and Radius-TWC open it May 10 so we’ll see.
E! today at its upfront presentation unveiled a slate of new unscripted series, specials and projects in development. Newly greenlighted shows include Total Divas, about the women behind the WWE Divas; Love And Other Contact Sports: Eric And Jessie, chronicling the pending nuptials of singer Jessie James and Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker; and Hello Ross, an interactive talk show hosted by Chelsea Lately‘s Ross Mathews and produced by Chelsea Handler’s production company. Hello Ross stems from a development deal E! signed with Mathews two years ago. Additionally, E! officially announced a June 2 premiere date for The Wanted Life, its new half-hour unscripted series about the personal and professional lives of pop group The Wanted, which is executive produced by Ryan Seacrest under his production deal with E!. The Wanted Life debut will follow the eighth-season premiere of E!’s top-rated series, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, also exec produced by Seacrest. To further hype his new show, Seacrest also will do a special with The Wanted to air a few days before the premiere.
E!’s unscripted development slate include The Soup Investigates, a spinoff series of E!’s The Soup, a pop culture-themed spoof of the investigative TV genre featuring The Soup host Joel McHale and a team of reporters. E! also has put in development a sketch comedy show starring comedian James Davis and produced by Funny Or Die, a comedic show exploring pop culture stereotypes produced by Jack Osbourne, and Vin Di Bona and a parlor game-style game show from Shine America. E!’s new slate comes a month after E! president Suzanne Kolb tapped Jeff Olde as head of programming. Here are details about all E! unscripted new series and specials as well as projects in development: Read More »
The Elizabeth Banks-starrer Walk Of Shame will bow wide September 20, 2013. That’s the date FilmDistrict originally planned to release its horror sequel Insidious Chapter 2, but the distributor has now shifted that title up a week to a September 13, where it will face Open Road’s Machete Kills and Screen Gems’ drama Battle Of The Year. Steve Brill wrote and directed Walk Of Shame, a romantic comedy about an aspiring reporter (Banks) whose dreams of becoming a network news anchor are compromised after a one-night stand with a handsome stranger (James Marsden) leaves her stranded in downtown LA without a phone, car, ID or money – and eight hours to make it to a big job interview. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Since his Oscar-nominated heartbreaking turn as an illegal immigrant father in A Better Life, Demian Bichir‘s acting career has decidedly been on the upswing. Now, he’s set to make his debut as a screenwriter and director on the indie feature Refugio. Alex Garcia and Lucas Akoskin will produce Refugio for their company, BN Films. Bruno Bichir of Escarabajo Productions (Crónica de un desayuno) will co-produce. Principal Photography will begin this fall in the U.S. and Mexico.
The film tells the story of a young dreamer, born in the circus, who embarks on a search to find his long lost true love. An emotional journey from boyhood to manhood, from Mexico to the United States, the film is about hope, redemption and fate. Bichir next stars in the Paul Feig-directed Fox/Chernin Entertainment comedy The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, and the upcoming FX series The Bridge. He is also part of the ensemble of Open Road’s Machete Kills. He is represented by CAA, Evolution and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, Inc.
EXCLUSIVE: El Rey, the upcoming Comcast cable network from filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa’s FactoryMade, is looking to make a splash with original scripted series. I have learned that Tres Pistoleros Studios, Rodriguez and FactoryMade’s production company, has signed a mega three-year deal with Reliance’s Georgeville Television that could be worth a quarter of a billion dollars. Under the pact, Georgeville, the independent TV studio formed by Marc Rosen and Motion Picture Capital’s Leon Clarance and Deepak Nayar, will produce a minimum of six 13-episode series for the new network at budgets rumored to be at least $3 million an episode. (UPDATE14:45 PM: The El Rey-Georgeville TV deal has now been officially announced. You can read the press release under the story.)
With the deal, El Rey hints at its future identity as a scripted player when it launches in January 2014. That is also a direction Oprah Winfrey recently took with her upstart OWN, signing a multi-series pact with Tyler Perry for scripted fare. El Rey is one of three minority-owned new channels Comcast committed to while seeking federal approval for its acquisition of NBC Universal. Of the other two, Magic Johnson’s Aspire, targeting black families, launched last summer, with Sean Combs’ music-oriented Revolt set to unspool in July. The English-language El Rey is targeting the U.S.’ growing Latino audience whose importance is on the rise. Just this month, Spanish-language broadcaster Univision posted its first No.4 in-season sweep finish among adults 18-49, topping NBC. Read More »
Robert Rodriguez was sued today for at least $11 million by an independent producer who claims the Machete Kills director used “threats and intimidation” to damage the film Danny Trejo’s Vengeanceand a new Steve Wozniak-endorsed app related to the movie. “Rodriguez feared that the promotion of another film starring Danny Trejo would diminish the Machete Kills brand and would threaten box office numbers and thus set in motion a plan to diminish ITN’s reputation and stifle the success of the film and the App Game,” says the five-count complaint (read it here) from ITN Flix. The company is seeking $11 million in damages plus more to be determined by a jury trial. In a filing in federal court Tuesday in Utah, ITN’s lawyers claim that Rodriguez and Trejo’s longtime talent agent Gloria Hinojosa of Amsel, Eisenstadt & Frazier “bullied, threatened and intimidated all people involved with Film and the App Game to damage sales and sever business relationships.”
As Deadline reported last November, ITN had developed the app Danny Trejo’s Vengeance: Woz With A Coz featuring Apple co-founder Wozniak as a way to promote the movie and create another revenue stream. As well, the company was trying to set up a campaign to promote Danny Trejo’s Vengeance on the marketing coattails of Machete Kills, which Trejo also stars in, by offering an 80-20 split with rival exhibitors of Open Road. Open Road picked up distribution for the Machete sequel in October and plans to release the film September 13, 2013. This is the second Machete Kills lawsuit Rodriguez has to face. In late November, Overnight Productions filed a suit to terminate their agreement with the director to make another movie about the rogue Mexican Federale. It successful, the case would revert all Machete rights back to Oversight and could stop the release of the movie. Read More »
The Robert Rodriguez-directed Machete Kills, the sequel to 2010′s Machete and the second film in a trilogy, will be released September 13, 2013 by Open Road. The distributor acquired the pic in October before a lawsuit was filed in a producer spat between Rodriguez’s QuickDraw Productions and Overnight Productions that could threaten the movie’s release. Rodriquez produces along with Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic through QuickDraw, as well as Sergei Bespalov of Aldamisa Films, Alexander Rodnyansky of AR Films, and Rick Schwartz of Overnight. Kyle Ward penned the screenplay for the sequel, which is based on a story by Marcel Rodriguez and Robert Rodriguez. Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale agent Machete, who is recruited by the U.S. President to take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy. Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demián Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson co-star.
Machete Kills will open against Battle Of the Year (Sony/Screen Gems) and I Frankenstein (Lionsgate).
EXCLUSIVE: Now that the Twilight Saga series is over, the fittest vampire in the pack, Kellan Lutz, has found a new potential franchise to sink his teeth into. Lutz has signed to star in the indie genre film Tatua. Based on an original concept by comic book creators Paul Jenkins and Rob Prior, Tatua is about a man with a rare blood type that allows him to be tattooed with a powerful ink. He is able to pull those weapons straight off his skin, giving him an enviable leg up as a covert assassin. Aaron Sims, the vfx wiz who helmed the viral sensation short Archetype, is set to make his directing debut on the film, says Rick Schwartz, whose Overnight Productions has lined up the financing for a March production start in Toronto. Read More »
Overnight Productions today said it wants to cut ties with Robert Rodriguez’s Quick Draw Productions over the rights to Machete Kills. If successful, the court action could stop the release of the film – which Open Road acquired for distribution from Quick Draw last month. The complaint filed Tuesday (read it here), the producers of 2010’s Machete are seeking to terminate the April 2012 agreement in which they granted director/producer Rodriguez the rights to make another action movie about the rogue Mexican Federale. The rights would revert back to Rick Schwartz’s Overnight. The plaintiffs are seeking $2 million in damages Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Production company ITN is pulling out all the stops to promote Danny Trejo‘s upcoming film Danny Trejo’s Vengeance. In addition to the indie company releasing this month a tablet game Danny Trejo’s Vengeance: Woz With A Coz featuring Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to promote the movie, the plan is to use the eventual release date of Trejo’s Robert Rodriguez sequel Machete Kills as a sort of marketing partner. ITN is shopping Vengeance to rival exhibitors of Machete Kills‘ Open Road Films (a venture between big U.S. circuits AMC and Regal) at a discount, pitching them to open Vengeance three weeks before the eventual release date of Machete Kills. The idea is to draft on that pic’s marketing. We’re hearing the offer is to chains like Carmike and Cinemark for an 80-20 split — well beyond the usual 50-50 or 60-40 deals made for feature films.
If successful it would put two pics in the marketplace at once starring Trejo, the ex-con-turned-drug counselor who was discovered as a movie extra and now has 180-plus films to his credit. Vengeance stars the iconic tough guy as a retired undercover vice cop whose wife and daughter are murdered, and after a serving a jail sentence for a crime he didn’t commit he hits the streets bent on revenge. Medina, Trejo’s partner at ITN, directed. ITN is also in development on My Dog Zeus, Have You Considered?, and Jesus And Angelina: A Gangster Love Story. Read More »
BREAKING: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Machete Kills, the Robert Rodriguez-directed sequel that brings back Danny Trejo as the blade-savvy former Mexican Federale. Michelle Rodriguez is back, and Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr, William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson also star. Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg sealed the deal. Kyle Ward wrote the script based on a story by Marcel Rodriguez and Rodríguez.
This is the second film in what is meant to be a trilogy. Trejo returns as an ex-Federale agent who is recruited by the U.S. president for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man — he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. The last film was pure grindhouse, including something I’ve never seen before: Trejo slashed a bad guy in the gut, then unwound his intestines to use them as a rope ladder to crash through a window and land safely on the floor below. That’s a high bar, but here, he has Gibson playing the villain. Read More »
Jake Wagner has moved to Benderspink, where he will head up the company’s management division. He brings with him lit clients such as Evan Daugherty (Snow White And The Huntsman), John Swetnam (Category 6), Andrew Knauer (Last Stand), Chris Denham (Home Movie), Micah Barnett (The Rabbit), John Sullivan (Science Fair), Tripper Clancy (Henry The Second), Lucas Sussman (The Hunt), Chris Roach/John Richardson (Non Stop), and Ethan Maniquis (Machete). He also brings actor Greg Finley (Secret Life Of The American Teenager). Partners JC Spink, Chris Bender and Jake Weiner called Wagner “one of the brightest young managers out there.” He’d been at FilmEngine. Read More »
Oscar nominee Demian Bichir will play a crime boss in black comedy Dom Hemingway from The Matador writer-director Richard Shepard. Jude Law and Richard E. Grant were already on board the revenge story which now has Game Of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke along with Jumyan Hunter and Madalina Ghenea rounding out the cast. Law plays the eponymous larger-than-life safecracker who’s back on the streets of London after 12 years in prison and eager to collect for keeping his mouth shut. Things take a turn when he sets off to visit Bichir’s capo in the south of France.
Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company is producing with partners BBC Films, CinemaNX/Isle of Man Film, Pinewood Films and Lionsgate. This marks the latest indie that studio facilities operator Pinewood is involved in as part of a plan to support about 4 films a year. Shooting starts Oct. 15 in the south of France. HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed Don Johnson, getting him at a time when he is poised for a big resurgence. Johnson had the Comic-Con crowd in the palm of his hand during Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchainedpanel, when he explained that the inspiration for the Southern drawl of his Big Daddy plantation owner character was Foghorn Leghorn. Johnson has a big role in that film, and most recently starred in five episodes of HBO’s Eastbound And Down, and for his work in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete. Johnson, who most recently had been at Gersh (which did a damn good job), continues to be managed by Untitled and lawyered by Bill Sobel.
Los Angeles, CA – August 1, 2012 – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Home Entertainment and Phase 4 Films announced today they have jointly acquired North American rights to the Mark Hamill film SUSHI GIRL. The revenge thriller had its international premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival on July 21st 2012, to be followed by a theatrical release in the U.S. and cable VOD by Phase 4 Films in late 2012, with Blu-ray™, DVD and digital VOD release by Magnolia Home Entertainment under the Magnet Releasing label in early 2013. Phase 4 Films will also distribute the film theatrically and on home video in Canada.
The hotly anticipated genre-bending thriller by director Kern Saxton (co-writer of the film along with Destin Pfaff) is produced by Assembly Line, a team including Neal Fischer, Pfaff, Saxton and Suren M. Seron, in association with Level Up Productions.
Mark Hamill (Star Wars Franchise) and Tony Todd (Candyman) lead a cast of cult heroes including Noah Hathaway (The NeverEnding Story), James Duval (Donnie Darko), Andy Mackenzie (MacGruber), David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight) and Cortney Palm (Superbad). Sushi Girl also includes feature appearances by Michael Biehn (Aliens), Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill Vol. 1), Jeff Fahey (Grindhouse) and Danny Trejo (Machete).
The film centers on the compelling character of a man called “Fish,” just released after six years in jail after successfully not ratting on those involved in the robbery that sent him to prison. The night he is released, the men he protected with silence celebrate his freedom
EXCLUSIVE: Demian Bichir has joined The Heat, the Paul Feig-directed comedy that stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. It is the first studio comedy for Bichir, who was Oscar nominated for A Better Life. He was last seen in the Oliver Stone-directed Savages. In The Heat, he will play an FBI agent. Bichir, who just wrapped the Robert Rodriguez-directed Machete Kills, is repped by CAA and managed by Sekka Scher.
Director Robert Rodriguez tweeted first word today that the pop star would make her acting debut in Machete Kills (the sequel to 2010′s Machete) playing La Chameleon. “I just finished working with @LadyGaga on @MacheteKills, she kicked SO MUCH ASS! Holy Smokes. Blown away”! Rodriguez wrote. Gaga confirmed the news in her own tweet: “Yes its true, I will be making my debut as an actress ln the amazing MACHETE KILLS BY @RODRIGUEZ IM SO EXCITED!!! AH! Filming was insane”. Amber Heard, Danny Trejo, Sofia Vergara, and Mel Gibson also star. No release date has been announced.