Imelda Staunton, Freddie Highmore, Miranda Hart and Toby Jones have joined the voice cast of The Canterville Ghost which reunites Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Kim Burdon is directing the adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s story that’s penned by Giles New and Keiron Self. The animated film is produced by Robert Chandler and Gina Carter with Content kicking off sales in Cannes. Fry plays Sir Simon de Canterville who has been haunting his ancestral home in rural England for over 300 years, scaring off tenants with ease and aplomb — until the Otis family moves in from America. The Canterville Ghost has previously been made in several iterations from TV movies to features and radio plays with such talent as John Gielgud, Charles Laughton and David Niven. This is the first time it will be animated. Staunton, Highmore and Jones are represented by Artist Rights Group, Miranda Hart is with Troika.
BBC Films has added The Lady In The Van to its Cannes slate. Maggie Smith will star in the adaptation of Alan Bennett’s memoir to be directed by Nicholas Hytner. Alex Jennings (The Queen) is playing Bennett in the story that’s based on the playwright’s experiences with Miss Shepherd, a vagrant who parked her out old van in his driveway and stayed for 15 years. Kevin Loader, Damian Jones and Hytner will produce. BBC Films is also producing City Of Tiny Lights starring Riz Ahmed and Roshan Seth and directed by Pete Travis. Patrick Neate is adapting his own novel about a cynical London private eye drawn deep into the criminal underbelly while on a case. Read More »
The Exchange will kick off sales of 3D documentary Under The Electric Sky in Cannes next week. Focus Features is releasing the film in the U.S. this summer. It premiered in Sundance’s Park City at Midnight section in January. Directed by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, the doc chronicles the love, community, and life of festivalgoers during Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, the largest music festival in the U.S. The fest draws the top talents in electronic and dance music and is known for its immersive environment featuring state-of-the-art stage production, pyrotechnics and lighting, roaming theatrical performers and dancers, full-scale carnival rides and interactive art installations. The film is executive-produced by Pasquale Rotella of Insomniac with Cutforth and Lipsitz. Haven Entertainment produced the film, with the music score composed by DJ Kaskade. Read More »
Content and Preferred Film & TV are teaming on horror pic The Diabolical. Alistair Legrand co-wrote the script with Luke Harvis and will make his directorial debut with the movie. Content will launch worldwide sales at the AFM. Kevin Iwashina of Preferred Content will jointly sell North America with Content’s Jamie Carmichael; the pair is also exec producing. The suburbia-set story centers on a woman who turns to her scientist boyfriend for help destroying the violent spirit that has an increasingly strange and intense presence in her home. Production starts in 2014. Legrand is repped by UTA and MXN Entertainment. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Content Film has made a multi-year production deal with Preferred Content partners Ross Dinerstein and Kevin Iwashina. Essentially, Content will finance as many as six elevated genre films over the next two years. The latest collaboration between Content and Preferred Content is The Pact, the genre film that premieres tonight at midnight. The deal comes after Content and Dinerstein teamed for several genre films that have played the midnight program of festivals including Toronto, SXSW and Sundance. In that scenario, Dinerstein would raise the under $2 million budgets, Content would sell international and Iwashina would sell North American rights. The new deal allows Dinerstein to focus on producing and not have to raise the funds. Iwashina is selling North American with Content’s Jamie Carmichael on The Pact, which was written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy. The two companies previously collaborated on The Killing Room and The Divide, and the first film under the new deal will start production in the spring. “We have had a terrific experience working with Ross on the production side and Kevin on the domestic sales side,” Carmichael said. “ This is a natural next step as we look to ramp up our efforts in this space.”
Universal Pictures International Entertainment has picked up rights to Content Film’s Hard Boiled Sweets for the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Benelux and Scandinavia, the companies announced Friday. Written and directed by David L. G. Hughes, Sweets is a crime thriller starring Scot Williams (The Crew), Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Long Good Friday, Hot Fuzz), Peter Wight (Another Year, Hot Fuzz), Ian Hart (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Finding Neverland, Michael Collins), Elizabeth Berrington (In Bruges, Secrets and Lies), Laura Greenwood (The Brothers Grimm) andPhilip Barantini (Band of Brothers, Ned Kelly). Inspired by Hughes’ short story A Girl With a Gun, the movie centers on an ex-con named Johnny is coerced into taking part in a heist that he wants no part of. What he doesn’t know is that a bunch of other hoods also have designs on the million in cash stashed at a mobster’s home. The deal was negotiated by Harry White, head of sales at Content, and Jasper van Hecke, international acquisitions manager at UPIE.
Content Film announced today that it has landed foreign sales rights to Doug Aarniokoski’s action thriller The Day ahead of its world premiere screening in the Midnight Madness section of the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. The film, which stars Shawn Ashmore, Ashely Bell, Michael Eklund, Cory Hardrict, Dominic Monaghan and Shannon Sossamon, revolves around a group of survivors who fight to stay alive amid a war against humanity. Luke Passmore wrote the script, and Guy Danella is producer; Aarniokoski, Michael Finley, Tim James, Antonina Armato and Ross Dinerstein executive produce. Kevin Iwashina of Preferred Content is handling North American sales. Content also will be selling at Toronto foreign rights on the Sarah Palin documentary Sarah Palin: You Betcha!, which was acquired earlier today for domestic release by Freestyle Releasing, and the Chloe Moretz-Blake Lively pic Hick.
Content Media has come aboard to finance and distribute Nicholas McCarthy’s feature ghost story The Pact, which is based on the writer-director’s short that appeared at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and just completed production — a quick turnaround, even for a genre film. Preferred Content’s Ross Dinerstein is producing and Content Film president Jamie Carmichael is executive producing. Caity Lotz stars alongside Haley Hudson, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Sam Ball, Agnes Bruckner and Casper Van Dien; in addition, all the crew from the short stayed on for the feature, which centers on a woman who struggles to come to grips with her past after her mother’s death and discovers an unsettling presence in her childhood home. Preferred Content’s Kevin Iwashina will handle the North American distribution rights and Content will rep international rights. Alan Gasmer reps McCarthy.
Content Film has acquired foreign rights to Nick Broomfield’s documentary Sarah Palin: You Betcha!, with the exception of the UK, where Channel 4 holds the TV rights. Cassian Elwes is handling domestic on the film, which has yet to find a U.S. distributor. Broomfield (Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam, Kurt & Courtney) directed the film with Joan Churchill. Marc Hoeferlin (Battle for Haditha) produced. News of the deal comes on the same day it was announced that the film will debut at the Toronto Film Festival next month in the Reel to Reel Section. In July, ARC Entertainment gave a limited theatrical release to The Undefeated, another Palin documentary. That film will be available Sept. 1 on pay-per-view and video on demand, and will have a special edition DVD launch through Walmart.
Content Film has acquired international rights to the Aimee Lagos-directed drama 96 Minutes. Inspired by true events, the thriller is about four young people caught up in a terrifying carjacking. It stars Brittany Snow, Evan Ross, Christian Serratos, Jonathan Michael Trautman and David Oyelowo. Ross won the Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance at the South By Southwest Film Festival. Content will sell the film at Cannes, while Paradigm is repping North America.