WWE Studios and Anchor Bay Films have set Road To Paloma for a release in L.A. on July 11, before coming out on-demand and on DVD July 15. The film marks the directing debut of Jason Momoa, who starred in the first season of HBO’s Game Of Thrones and played the slave-turned-king in Conan The Barbarian. He stars as Wolf, a Native American on the run after avenging his mother’s murder. As he flees across the desolate American West on his motorcycle, he’ll discover that justice has a cost – Wolf’s search for redemption will reveal secrets and take him on a journey where the roads have some very unexpected turns. His wife, Lisa Bonet, also stars in a cast that also includes Wes Studi. Momoa wrote it with Robert Homer Mollohan and Jonathan Hirschbein, and Momoa co-produced with Brian Andrew Mendoza. I met Momoa at a dinner during the Sundance Film Festival held by WWE Studios’ Michael Luisi and found him to be engaging and quite serious about his directing ambitions. I was prepped for this after interviewing the Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and after asking them who did they miss most of all the cast members they killed off, both said in unison, “Boy, do we miss Momoa.” He lives in Hawaii and planned to tap that lineage for a historical-based film that took place there, and the idea was …
EXCLUSIVE: Past Oscar nominees Andy Garcia (The Godfather Part III) and Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air and also a recent Emmy nominee for Bates Motel) team up in the romantic comedy At Middleton. They play two strangers who meet when they take their college-age kids on a campus tour of Middleton College. Soon the pair, married to others, ditch the kids and find themselves on their own “tour” of the campus as the funny and bittersweet film reveals more than they ever bargained for about two lives that took very different paths but now are at the crossroads. In this exclusive clip they find a piano and play an improvised duet of “Chopsticks” to somewhat embarrassing results. The film will be released by Anchor Bay on January 31.
The 24 creator wrote and directed the story of a divorced used car salesman (Christopher Meloni) whose son (Devon Bostick) eschews college to join him on the lot. Dean Norris, Bridget Moynahan and Kevin Nealon also star in Small Time, Joel Surnow‘s feature debut. It’s alsothe first big-screen effort from Asylum Entertainment, the TV producer that was acquired by Legendary last month. The Anchor Bay pic opens April 18 in theaters, VOD and iTunes. Here’s the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Anchor Bay Films has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to Snake & Mongoo$e in a post-AFM deal. The fast-paced pic produced by Entertainment Universe and Rhino Films tells the true-life story of the friendship and rivalry between 1960s Southern California drag racing champs Don “Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoo$e” McEwen. “We’re excited to be part of this energetic and heartfelt film. It’s a compelling story in the realm of sport classics like Brian’s Song, and we’re eager to share it with audiences early next year,” Anchor Bay Entertainment President Bill Clark said in a statement today. No release date has been set for the Wayne Holloway-directed pic, which stars Noah Wyle, with Grey’s Anatomy’s Jesse Williams as Snake and Richard Blake as Mongoo$e. Holloway co-wrote the script with auto industry journalist Alan Paradise. Anchor Bay EVP Acquisitions and Co-Productions Kevin Kasha negotiated for Anchor Bay Films with producer Robin Broidy for the filmmakers.
A couple deals with the accidental death of their child in writer-director Leland Orser’s Morning, based on his short film. Orser and Jeanne Tripplehorn as the grief-stricken mother lead an ensemble cast that includes Laura Linney, Elliott Gould, Kyle Chandler, Jason Ritter, Charlie McDermott and Julie White. It’s produced by Charles M. Fries and Jon Fries and exec produced by Todd Traina and Minor Childers. Anchor Bay Films picked up the pic at Sundance, though it didn’t play there; the Morning short bowed at SXSW in 2012. Orser’s feature helming debut opens September 27 after playing Toronto. Here’s the trailer:
Mactavish Pictures’ Murph: The Protector centers on the life of fallen Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy, who died in battle in 2005 and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007. Scott Mactavish wrote and directed the story told via friends, family and Murphy’s fellow SEALs. Anchor Bay has bought up theatrical, VOD, digital and home entertainment rights ahead of Toronto. “We are thrilled to add Murph: The Protector to our diverse slate of films”, Anchor Bay Entertainment president Bill Clark said. “Audiences across the country will connect with this wonderful story about a true American hero.” Mactavish, who served in the Navy, also wrote, produced and directed God And Country: Untold Stories Of The American Military and has written books including Battle Ready: Memoir Of A SEAL Warrior Medic, the memoir of decorated Navy SEAL Lt. Mark L. Donald.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Anchor Bay Films has once again joined forces with CineTel Films to release the next chapter of the controversial I Spit On Your Grave film franchise. I Spit on Your Grave 2 wrapped production late last year with Steven R. Monroe directing. The film is expected to be released in fall 2013. Anchor Bay Entertainment President Bill Clark made today’s announcement. Anchor Bay Films released I Spit on Your Grave in 2010. I Spit on Your Grave 2 is a new chapter in the series.
NEW YORK, NY – Anchor Bay Films announced today the acquisition of small time starring Christopher Meloni (42, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Man of Steel), Bridget Moynahan (I Robot, Lord of War, “Blue Bloods”) and Dean Norris (“Breaking Bad,” Little Miss Sunshine, “Under The Dome”). Written and directed by Joel Surnow, Emmy® Award-winner and co-creator of the hit series “24”, small time is his debut feature film and loosely based on his real life experiences. The agreement with ABF covers all North American rights and today’s announcement was made by Anchor Bay Entertainment’s President, Bill Clark.
NEW YORK, NY – Anchor Bay Films has landed the rights to Mr. Jones at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The company has picked up all North American rights to the thriller from writer/director Karl Mueller (screenwriter of The Divide). Mr. Jones is produced by Preferred Film & TV’s Ross M. Dinerstein and executive produced by Content’s Jamie Carmichael. Mr. Jones, starring Jon Foster (Brotherhood, The Informers) and Sarah Jones (“Vegas”, “Big Love”, “Sons of Anarchy”), will have its world premiere at Tribeca on Friday, April 19th. Mr. Jones marks Anchor Bay Films’ third release produced by Dinerstein, having previously released director Zak Penn’s The Grand and Xavier Gens’ The Divide. Bill Clark, Anchor Bay Entertainment president, made today’s announcement. Content is handling worldwide sales and are co-representing North America with Preferred Content.
Veteran Bill Lewis most recently was EVP and GM at Summit Entertainment, where he helped guide the releases of Twilight films and Oscar Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker for the company before it was acquired by Lionsgate and staff was consolidated. Before that he headed Eastern U.S. theatrical distribution efforts at MGM. At Anchor Bay Films, he will oversee the theatrical business and develop new distribution models for the division. “Bill has a tremendous history in the theatrical business and has been key in the release of some very high-profile franchises,” Anchor Bay Entertainment president Bill Clark said. “We extremely pleased to have an executive of Bill’s caliber and experience join our senior team.” Anchor Bay Films recently picked up Billy Bob Thornton’s Jayne Mansfield’s Car and Rob Zombie’s The Lords Of Salem out of Toronto; both are scheduled for spring 2013 releases.
EXCLUSIVE: As the Toronto Film Festival draws to a close, a deal that has been in the works nearly a week has finally been closed. Anchor Bay Films acquired U.S. distribution rights to Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem, which debuted to a raucous crowd last Monday in the fest’s Midnight Madness section. The deal was worth in the $2 million minimum guarantee range, putting it in line with the deals that Dimension made for the Eli Roth-produced genre films Aftershock (which premiered at the fest) and Clown. Anchor Bay was the frontrunner all along, even though Image and Millennium Entertainment bid. After that, several larger distributors were in the mix, but Anchor Bay finally closed.
Submarine Pacts With SnagFilms, Launches Torpedo Pictures
Submarine Entertainment announced today at the Cannes Film Festival that it has licensed three films to on-demand hub SnagFilms: Sundance 2011 entry Letters From The Big Man, about a Forest Service employee who stumbles across a sasquatch in the Oregon wilderness; punk-rock documentary Hi My Name Is Ryan; and 2010 Berlin title Arias With A Twist: The Documentary, about the collaboration between cabaret and drag artist Joey Arias and master puppeteer Basil Twist. SnagFilms now has exclusive cable VOD and digital distribution rights to the films in the U.S. and will release them across all platforms this year.
Torpedo Pictures, being launched with Dakota Group, will house a slate of low-budget sci-fi, horror and thriller genre films with budgets between $500K-$1.5 million. Dakota Group will finance the slate, while Submarine will rep worldwide rights.
Anchor Bay Takes Officer Down & Pawn
Anchor Bay Films has acquired all English-speaking territories for the action titles Officer Down and the Michael Chiklis hostage drama Pawn from Red Sea Media, which has completed sales on both to Polar Star (Latin America), Globo TV (Brazil), Dutch FilmWorks, (Benelux), Eagle Films (Middle East), IPA (Thailand), Prorom (Romania), and Horizon Int’l (Turkey).
Anchor Bay Films acquired North American distribution rights to Bait 3D, Australia’s first 3D action film. The suspenseful shark attack/horror film stars Xavier Samuel, Sharni Vinson, Singaporean stars Adrian Pang and Qi Yuwu, Phoebe Tonkin, Dan Wyllie and Julian McMahon. Pic’s produced by Gary Hamilton, Todd Fellman and Peter Barber.
“Bait In 3D is the ultimate shark thrill ride that will make you think twice about getting back in the water,” said Kevin Kasha, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Anchor Bay Films.
In a sleepy beach community, shoppers at an underground supermarket are terrorized by a crazed bandit when the unimaginable occurs: A monstrous freak tsunami swallows the town. Now trapped, with rushing water threatening to entomb them in a watery grave, the survivors discover they are chum for a pack of hungry great white sharks.
The deal was negotiated by Kasha, Josh Thomashow and Marc Barson for Anchor Bay Films; Gary Hamilton, Chris Perry and Mike Gabrawy on behalf of Arclight.
Sundance’s Park City at Midnight premiere Excision is headed to North America via Anchor Bay Films, which picked up the film by first-time feature writer-director Richard Bates Jr. Produced by Dylan Hale Lewis, the horror pic’s cast includes AnnaLynne McCord, Traci Lords, Ariel Winter, Roger Bart and John Waters, the film centers on and outcast student (McCord) who is convinced that the best way to repair her estranged relationship with her family is to perform a risky operation to save her sister’s life. The deal was negotiated by Kevin Kasha, Josh Thomashow and Marc Barson for Anchor Bay; Kevin Iwashina and Christine D’Souza of Preferred Content; Cassian Elwes; and Elsa Ramo on behalf of the filmmakers. Excision is based on Bates’ short film of the same title.
Anchor Bay Films has landed U.S. and Canadian theatrical and home entertainment rights to Maximum Conviction, an action pic starring Steven Seagal and Steve Austin. The deal for the movie — directed by Keoni Waxman and produced by Seagal, Austin and Phillip Goldfine — was done with Voltage Pictures, which is repping international rights. In the film, Seagal and Austin work for a private security firm charged with decommissioning an old prison. They all but complete the task until two mysterious female prisoners arrive, followed by elite mercenaries who are hunting them down. Benjamin Sacks, Scott Kennedy and Waxman executive produced with co-exec producer Binh Dang.
Anchor Bay Films has landed U.S. rights to the Nicolas Cage thriller Seeking Justice and has slated it for a March 16 theatrical release. January Jones and Guy Pearce co-star in the film, which was directed by Roger Donaldson. The plot revolves around inner-city teacher Will (Cage) and his musician wife Laura (Jones) whose lives are torn apart when she is brutally assaulted and he is approached by a man (Pearce) offering to dispense immediate justice on the perpetrators. Will accepts and is pulled into an underground vigilante organization that leads to frightening and dangerous consequences. The film, previously titled The Hungry Rabbit Jumps, was produced by Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern, Ram Bergman and Material Entertainment’s Tobey Maguire and Jenno Topping.
BREAKING: Anchor Bay Films has picked up U.S. distribution rights to Ten Year, the Jamie Linden-directed drama that premiered at 2011 Toronto Film Festival. The film will be released next spring. Anchor Bay has been negotiating for this for the past month, and it is now nearly done with the deal. It’s low seven figures, including minimum guarantee and P&A for what looks like a platform release. Linden, whose script credits include We Are Marshall and Dear John, wrote the script for a film that was inspired by his own high school reunion. The film has a cast of up-and-comers that includes Channing Tatum, Anthony Mackie, Lynn Collins, Rosario Dawson, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Brian Geraghty, Ari Graynor, Oscar Isaac, Ron Livingston, Justin Long, Kate Mara, Max Minghella, Aubrey Plaza, Scott Porter, and Chris Pratt.
The film tells a Big Chill-style story about a group of friends who reunite and assess where they find themselves and what they hope to accomplish in the future. The film was produced by Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, and Iron Horse Entertainment’s Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin. Eric Gores, Scott Lumpkin and Frank Mancuso Jr were exec producers. Gores and Mancuso’s Boss Media funded the film and the Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group made the deal with Anchor Bay president Bill Clark and Kevin Kasha, exec veep of acquisitions and co-productions.
EXCLUSIVE: Anchor Bay Films just acquired U.S. distribution rights to 13, Gela Babluani’s remake of his 2005 thriller 13 Tzameti. The film isn’t playing here at Toronto, but it will be one of a flurry of titles being shopped during the festival, something that proved very effective in Cannes, where some of the biggest acquisition deals were made on the basis of sellers showing promo reels to hungry distributors.
The remake stars Sam Riley, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Ray Winstone, Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Shannon, Ben Gazzara, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Mickey Rourke and Jason Statham. Anchor Bay president Bill Clark and EVP Worldwide Acquisitions and Co-Productions Kevin Kasha made the deal with WME Global’s Alexis Garcia.
“13 was a great pick-up for Anchor Bay Films,” Kasha said. “The film has an amazing cast and it truly keeps you guessing. We’re excited to be working with Babluani in releasing it.”
The original won the 2006 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and Babluani won best director at the Venice Film Festival later that year. A desperate man steals an envelope promising a mysterious job that can make him a fortune. Assuming a false identity, he discovers he’s enlisted to be a numbered participant in an underworld Russian roulette competition where gamblers place bets on the contestants. The potential payoff is so high he goes through with it despite the long odds of survival.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Anchor Bay Films announced today the pick up of the comedy Father of Invention starring Academy Award™ winning actor Kevin Spacey (Horrible Bosses, American Beauty), Camilla Belle (10,000 BC, When a Stranger Calls), Heather Graham (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Hangover) and Virginia Madsen (Sideways, The Number 23). The film was co-financed by Sunrise Films, LLC and debuted as an official selection at the Berlin International Film Festival. Anchor Bay Films has acquired all distribution rights in the U.S., U.K. as well as Australia and New Zealand. Bill Clark, President of Anchor Bay Entertainment, made the announcement.