The raucous R-rated hockey comedy Goon has racked up significant international distribution deals for Myriad Pictures. Starring Sean William Scott, the movie has been sold in the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Russia Scandinavia, Latin America, Turkey, the Middle East, Indonesia and South Africa, and several other markets. Magnolia’s Magnet picked up Goon for US distribution at Toronto and plans a March theatrical release. Scott plays a onetime bouncer who ends up vying with Liev Schrieber for the distinction of being the hockey league’s biggest goon. Jay Baruchel, Eugene Levy and Allison Pill co-star. The movie was directed by Michael Dowse (Take Me Home Tonight, FUBAR I and II, It’s All Gone Pete Tong). Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express) wrote the script. Goon was produced by Don Carmody (Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Boondock Saints), David Gross and Jesse Shapira. Myriad’s other movies include Mike Figgis-directed Seconds of Pleasure, from a script by Neil LaBute starring Matt Dillon and Kristin Scott Thomas, A Common Man with Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross, as well as Edwin Boyd, Knife Fight and Chained.
Maya Entertainment and Open Window Films have acquired The Jesuit, an action drama written and to be directed by Paul Schrader. Production is set to begin in early March 2011. Michelle Rodriguez, Willem Dafoe and Paz Vega star in the film, about a man who exits prison in south Texas and returns to a violent life. The Jesuit will be produced by John Morrissey, Santiago Garcia Galvan and Alex Garcia.
UPDATE: I’m told that WME client Trevor Caewood is directing Apollo 18, and that 3 Arts/CAA client Brian Miller wrote the script. So Timur Bekmambetov is producing only.
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company won a bidding battle that went past Friday night and into the wee hours of Saturday morning for Apollo 18, an extraterrestrial film that is being creatively spearheaded by Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov. The picture, which is well into production and will be released March 4, 2011, shapes up as the next in a line of films that use a tinge of reality to launch into thriller story lines. Others include the Paranormal Activity films, the upcoming Oren Peli-directed Area 51, and the JJ Abrams-directed Super 8.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein bought worldwide rights to the film, agreeing to fully finance the picture. Bob Weinstein met several times with Bekmambetov before making a deal that came after Bekmambetov presented film footage purported to have been shot by the crew of Apollo 18. That moon mission from the early 70s was officially canceled by NASA, but according to urban legend, it actually happened. Timur’s footage shows signs of alien life, and the events of the mission are built into a thriller story line. The film so far has been a well kept secret but would have to be well underway to be ready for release five months from now. …
EXCLUSIVE: Exclusive Media Group will produce and fully finance So Undercover, an action comedy vehicle for Miley Cyrus that will begin production in December. What Happens In Vegas helmer Tom Vaughan will direct a script by Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleep‘s Allan Loeb and Steven Pearl (The Switch). Cyrus will play a tough, street-smart private eye hired by the FBI to go undercover in a college sorority. The film will be produced by Exclusive co-chairmen Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, along with Scarlet Fire Entertainment’s Loeb and Pearl, and Tish Cyrus. Jodi Zuckerman-Weiner is exec producer (for Cyrus’ production company Hope Town) along with Rob Cowan. Exclusive’s Tobin Armbrust, who found the project, will also be a producer. Exclusive Films International will sell territories at AFM, while Cyrus’ reps at CAA will make a domestic deal.
EXCLUSIVE: In the first major deal of the American Film Market, FilmDistrict has acquired North American distribution rights to Drive, the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed adaptation of the James Sallis novel that stars Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver and is targeted for death after a heist goes wrong. Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks round out a strong cast. FilmDistrict was started by GK Films partners Graham King and Tim Headington and run by Peter Schlessel and veteran distribution exec Bob Berney. They hatched the company to generate or acquire films with strong casts that can play on between 1500 and 2000 screens. Drive certainly fits that bill. The film is about two weeks from wrapping and has a budget under $30 million despite shooting in Los Angeles. FilmDistrict will look to release in late summer or early fall, 2011. Michel Litvak’s Bold Films financed the picture with Odd Lot Entertainment ‘s Gigi Pritzker, Linda McDonough and Bill Lischak. Marc Platt is producing with Bold and Odd Lot. Several indie companies chased the film including Summit and Lionsgate, and WME Global’s Graham Taylor closed the deal.