Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald’s treasure hunt adventure Black Sea starring Jude Law as a submarine captain with a mutinous misfit crew will get a limited release January 23, Focus Features said today. Written by Dennis Kelly, Black Sea also stars Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Konstantin Khabenskiy and Michael Smiley. The only wide release dated that weekend is Universal’s Blumhouse thriller The Boy Next Door, directed by Rob Cohen and starring Jennifer Lopez.
Focus also unveiled two date changes today: Tarsem Singh’s sci-fi drama Selfless starring Ryan Reynolds and Michelle Dockery moves from February 27 to April 17, while Leigh Whannell’s Insidious: Chapter 3 slides from its spring date of April 3 to May 29. Both titles remain wide releases. Selfless will face off against Sony’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Disney doc Monkey Kingdom during the April 17-19 frame. Insidious: Chapter 3, starring Dermot Mulroney, will be up against Paramount’s Chris Wedge toon Monster Trucks.
Amid last year’s shake-up at Focus Features, the group’s international sales arm was shuttered. Focus is now turning to Nick Meyer’s Sierra/Affinity to handle rights outside North America on select titles from the company. The formalized relationship will complement the activities of Universal Pictures International, which distributes Universal and Focus movies internationally. The new tie-up had been expected, notably after Sierra/Affinity took over Mike Flanagan’s Oculus and follow-up, Somnia, at the AFM, both of which were previously with Focus Features International. The relationship with Focus and Sierra/Affinity kicks off at this EFM where the latter will service existing licensing and distribution agreements on Kevin Macdonald’s Black Sea and Jeremy Renner-starrer Kill The Messenger, a hot property for FFI last Berlin. Click over for more details on the new pact: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Scoot McNairy is set star with Jude Law in Black Sea, the underwater adventure film for Focus Features that Kevin Macdonald is directing. Law plays a rogue skipper who gathers a crew and a submarine in order to search for sunken treasure in the Black Sea. McNairy plays an American who convinces the captain to undertake a mission, even though the skipper has been double crossed before and knows it could be a set-up.
McNairy just wrapped David Michod’s The Rover with Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, and he starred alongside Michael Fassbender in Frank. The Argo star also has Twelve Years A Slave wrapped and just starred in the AMC pilot Halt And Catch Fire. McNairy is repped by WME, The Group and Jackoway Tyerman.
In a multi-territory deal, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition has acquired Germany, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Latin America on Focus‘ Jude Law-starrer Black Sea. Kevin Macdonald is directing the film about a submarine captain on a risky hunt for sunken treasure. FFI also sealed a deal with BackUp Media which invested against rights in France, Benelux and French-speaking Switzerland. Other territories sold include Australia and New Zealand (eOne), China, CIS, Israel and South Africa.
EXCLUSIVE: As distributors line their coffers with big films for Cannes, Focus Features has grabbed one, acquiring worldwide rights to Black Sea, an adventure thriller that Kevin Macdonald will direct with Jude Law starring. It’s contemporary, and Law will play a submarine captain who is laid off by a salvage company and makes a deal with a shadowy backer to look for a storied sunken sub reputed to be loaded with gold at the bottom of the Black Sea. Since this find would get him even with his ex-bosses, he puts together a crew of English and Russian sailors for the task, taking off to uncharted depths with his motley crew. The closer they get to the prize, the riskier it becomes to trust one another.
Law just starred for Focus Features in Anna Karenina. Film 4 developed, co-produced and is co-financing Black Sea with Focus, and Macdonald has committed to make it next. Macdonald, who helmed the Oscar-winning docu One Day In September and Touching the Void, and who directed The Last King Of Scotland and State Of Play and The Eagle, last helmed the Saoirse Ronan/Tom Holland-starrer How I Live Now and the docu Marley. Focus holds worldwide rights — excluding the U.K. free-TV rights held by Film4, and international sales will begin at Cannes. Macdonald and Charles Steel are producing. Dennis Kelly, who recently authored the book of the acclaimed stage musical adaptation of Matilda, is writing the Black Sea script. Read More »