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’300′ And ‘Act Of Valor’ Scribe Kurt Johnstad Takes On ‘Lost Legion’ Epic For Warner Bros

By | Friday February 8, 2013 @ 12:56pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Screenwriter Kurt Johnstad has covered both ancient warfare co-writing 300 and its sequel 300: Rise Of An Empire, and contemporary conflict with Act Of Valor. Now, he’s tackling a collision of completely different warriors in The Lost Legion, an epic action film he’ll write, with Dan Lin producing for Warner Bros.

The Lost Legion is about the first encounter between two of the most powerful forces in the history of civilization, the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty of ancient China. In 53 BC, a Roman legion was defeated in the Middle East and the surviving Roman soldiers were sold into slavery in the far east, North of China in what is now known as Mongolia. An intrepid band of Chinese warriors freed the legionnaires from captivity, and teamed up to defend China from the fiercest army in history.

Lin, who’s currently in production on the Chris Miller/Phil Lord-directed Lego, is producing and Lin Pictures’ Jon Silk, who found the project, will be executive producer along with Action Entertainment’s Chris Darling and Susan Feiles. Johnstad also scripted The Last Photograph, and he’s repped by WME, Untitled Entertainment, Parseghian-Planco and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.

Lost Legion might seem like a mash-up, but it’s based on recent discoveries that indicate this actually happened. Archaeologists in Gansu province on the Chinese-Mongolian border, in one small village, found evidence of Han Dynasty artifacts dating back to 50 B.C., mixed in with ancient Roman … Read More »

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‘Jane Got A Gun’ Adds Rodrigo Santoro

By | Monday February 4, 2013 @ 10:55am PST

Rodrigo SantoroEXCLUSIVE: The Last Stand actor has joined the cast of the Western action film Jane Got A Gun with Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender. Rodrigo Santoro will play the character of Fitchum in the Lynne Ramsey-directed film about Jane Hammond (Portman), who reaches out to her ex-lover (Fassbender) for help when her outlaw husband becomes the target of a violent gang. As well as his appearance in the recent Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Santoro will be seen in the upcoming prequel 300: Rise Of An Empire resuming his role from the first 300 as the Persian king Xerxes. 300: Rise Of An Empire is due out on August 2, 2013. Scott Steindorff and banker Peter Nathanial are financing Jane Got A Gun, which is written by Brian Duffield. The duo will produce with Portman through her Handsomecharlie Films along with Terry Dougas and Chris Coen. Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Aleen Keshishian will executive produce with Paris Latsis, Scott Pictures’ Scott LaStaiti and Dylan Russell. Rodrigo Santoro is repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

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‘300’ Prequel Given Official Title By WB

By | Wednesday September 12, 2012 @ 5:19pm PDT

Formerly known by the working title of 300: The Battle of Artemisia, the film will now be called 300: Rise Of An Empire, the studio said today.  The Legendary Pictures film is scheduled to come out on August 2, 2013. Similar to 2006’s Zack Snyder-directed 300, the prequel is based on a Frank Miller graphic novel on Greek legend. Noam Murro is directing Rise Of An Empire.  Rodrigo Santoro resumes his role from the first 300 as the Persian king Xerxes.  Sullivan Stapleton plays the Athenian general Themistocles.

RELATED: Sullivan Stapleton Gets Lead Role In ‘300’ Prequel At Warner Bros And Legendary

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Warner Bros Dates ‘The Hangover 3′ And ’300′ Sequel For 2013, Shifts ‘Pacific Rim’

By | Thursday March 22, 2012 @ 1:12pm PDT

Warner Bros The Hangover 3The studio today gave two of its biggest titles in the pipeline 2013 release dates, and moved its Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim from May to July 12 of that year. Warner Bros will release The Hangover 3 on May 24, 2013, where it will face Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 and Fox’s Leafmen. The 300 sequel will open August 2, 2013 where Summit’s RED sequel and Sony’s The Smurfs 2 now reside. Meanwhile, this the second shift in dates for Pacific Rim, which Warner Bros originally set for July 17 but was moved to May 10 at the head of the summer pack. Now it’s back in July, where it will face off against Sony’s sequel Grown Ups 2. It stars Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam and is set in a future where malevolent creatures threaten to destroy the earth, and the planet must band together to eradicate the growing threat.

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’300′ Sequel Brings Back Xerxes

By | Friday March 16, 2012 @ 8:15am PDT
Mike Fleming

Xerxes Rodrigo SantoroRodrigo Santoro is set to return to his creepily iconic and blinged-out role of Xerxes in the 300 sequel, opposite Eva Green, Sullivan Stapleton and Jamie Blackley for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures. The film shoots this summer, with Noam Murro directing the Kurt Johnstad script. Santoro and Green play the two bad guys this time around. Santoro next stars in the upcoming What To Expect When You’re Expecting opposite Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz for Lionsgate, and he starred opposite Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen in the upcoming HBO feature Hemingway And Gelhorn.

300 XerxesHe recently wrapped the Arnold Schwarzenegger comeback pic Last Stand for Lionsgate. Screen Media Films just acquired Heleno, the black-and-white Portuguese-language film Santoro starred in and produced based on the life of one of Brazil’s greatest soccer players, Heleno de Freitas. That film premiered at the last Toronto Film Festival — he just won Best Actor at the Havana Film Festival for it — and will be released in July. Santoro is repped by ICM and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

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Jamie Blackley Lands Lead in ’300′ Sequel

By | Thursday February 16, 2012 @ 5:34pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jamie Blackley has landed the co-lead in the 300 sequel that Noam Murro will direct for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures. In the Kurt Johnstad-scripted film, Blackley will play Calisto, a teen whose desire to become the heroic man/soldier his father was leads the 16-year-old to become a leader of a small band of soldiers. He’ll join Sullivan Stapleton, who got a lead last week in the next installment of the Zack Snyder-directed 300. Blackley just wrapped the lead in lead in the Andrew Douglas-directed uwantme2killhim?, the Bryan Singer produced film about a young man entangled in an unhealthy internet relationship that results in him committing a crime. He also played one of the leads in London Boulevard opposite Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley and he wrapped a supporting role in Snow White and the Huntsman. Blackley is repped by WME, Luber Roklin Entertainment and UK-based United Agents.

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‘Xerxes’ Pic Down To Noam Murro And Jaume Collet-Serra For ’300′ Spinoff

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The producers of the 300 spinoff known as Xerxes have retitled their film 300: Battle of Artemisia, and they have also narrowed their focus of potential directors to two: Noam Murro and Jaume Collet-Serra. The film, a spinoff to 300, is one that the film’s original director Zack Snyder was going to direct. That was until Warner Bros and producer Chris Nolan offered him Man of Steel, and Snyder and wife and producing partner Debra Snyder put Xerxes aside and moved on to rebooting the Superman franchise because Warner Bros needed it. The Snyders have been all over this director selection process. Snyder had written a script with his 300 cohort Kurt Johnstad. Like 300, it is based on a Frank Miller graphic novel that will be shot with the kind of stylized period green-screen action visuals that became the signature of 300 and helped the film gross $456 million worldwide. Xerxes was the Persian leader seen in 300. Miller’s graphic novel told the story of how Xerxes became this peculiar god-like entity. That mythology goes back to the death of his father, Darius, from injuries sustained at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. Darius had told his son not to attack the Greeks because they can only be punished by a god, and so Xerxes tried to transform himself into a deity to gain revenge. The new pic’s produced by the Snyders, Mark Canton, Gianni Nunnari, Thomas Tull and Bernie Goldmann. The prime mover on the film has been Legendary Pictures, which made the original with Warner Bros and has taken the lead on several big-ticket pictures since Tull recapitalized his producing/financing company. That includes the Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim with Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba and the Alex Proyas-directed Paradise Lost with Bradley Cooper. Read More »

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Long Partnership Between Italian Filmmakers Vittorio Cecchi Gori And Giannani Nunnari Unravels In Court

By | Tuesday September 7, 2010 @ 9:50am PDT
Mike Fleming

For 300 producer Gianni Nunnari, the decision to sue former longtime employer Vittorio Cecchi Gori for getting axed in 2008 has so far proven as ill-advised as sending 300 Spartans to hold off the entire Persian army at Thermopylae.

A rather stunning legal judgment was rendered last week by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Amy D. Hogue. Not only did she not embrace Nunnari’s assertion that he’d been wronged to the tune of $2.5 million when Cecchi Gori showed up unannounced in his L.A. offices and cleaned house., closing the Cecchi Gori Pictures outpost and firing the staff. In a tentative decision, the judge put Nunnari on the hook for nearly $14 million, for breaching his fiduciary duties as the head of VCG’s Hollywood operations, and funneling choice film projects and fees to his own Hollywood Gang Productions shingle. The judge’s award to CGP amounts to the fees earned on several recent films: $8.6 million for 300, $3.26 million for Silence (the film Martin Scorsese has been tied to for over a decade), $1.35 million on Everybody’s Fine, and $700,000 for Immortals, the Tarsem Singh-directed Greek gods saga which gets released in November. Cecchi Gori also gets interest of 7% and the court ordered the construction of a trust that will disperse future revenues.

A spokesman for Nunnari stressed this … Read More »

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