Danny Trejo, Mischa Barton, Michael Madsen Star In AMBI’s ‘Hope Lost’ Danny Trejo, Mischa Barton, Michael Madsen and Daniel Baldwin are set to star in Hope Lost, a crime thriller from Italy’s AMBI Pictures. David Petrucci is directing the film from a screenplay by Francesco Trento, Damiano Giacomelli, Francesco Teresi and Loretta Tersigni. A bored young woman who dreams of the life of soap opera characters meets a mysterious man who charms her away from her small hometown then sells her to a pimp. The cast also includes Andrey Chernishov, Francesca Agostini and Alessia Navarro. Principal photography will begin this month in Rome with Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi and Cosetta Turco producing and Danielle Maloni executive producing.
Liberty Global Acquires Remaining Shares Of Chile’s VTR
Liberty Global said today that it has acquired the remaining 20% of the outstanding shares in both VTR GlobalCom and VTR Wireless in a stock-swap deal. The shares in Chile’s largest cable operator were purchased from a subsidiary of Corp Group Holding Inversiones Limitada in exchange for 10.1 million Liberty Global Class C ordinary shares. The purchased shares had a market value of about $422 million, based on Liberty Global’s closing price of $41.80 per share on March 13, 2014.1 The deal gives VTR Finance B.V., the parent entity of Liberty’s recently created Chilean credit pool, 100% of both the Chilean … Read More »
Principal photography has begun in Palm Springs on Premiere Entertainment Group’s thrillerThe Night Crew. Directed by Christian Sesma, and written by Paul Sloan and Sesma, the movie stars Luke Goss, Danny Trejo, Bokeem Woodbine and Chasty Ballesteros. The film centers on a group of hard-up bounty hunters who must survive the night in a desert motel against a horde of savage cartel killers as they realize their fugitive is much more than she lets on. Ryan Noto is producer and Premiere’s Jack Campbell and Elias Axume are handling worldwide distribution. They’ll introduce the title in Berlin next month.
Robert Rodriguez‘s grindhouse sequel Machete Kills will get a hometown debut in Austin, Texas at the annual genre-packed Fantastic Fest. Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale turned vigilante Machete, who is recruited by the President (Charlie Sheen – billed as Carlos Estevez) to stop an eccentric billionaire (Mel Gibson) from launching a missile into space. Rodriguez has again assembled a B-movie dream team of name actors and unorthodox stars for his gory actioner, including Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr., William Sadler, and Marko Zaror. Machete Kills will have its world premiere September 19 at the new Lakeline location of the Alamo Drafthouse theaters, home to the annual horror, action, sci-fi, fantasy, and foreign film festival. Two weeks later Open Road Films releases the pic wide on October 4. This year’s Fantastic Fest runs from September 19-26, 2013.
Open Road has shifted two of its upcoming releases: the Robert Rodriguez-directed Danny Trejo-starrer Machete Kills is moving to October 4 from its earlier September 13 perch, and the Jason Statham and James Franco-starrer Homefront moves to November 27 from its previously announced October 4 date. Machete Kills stars Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demián Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson. Trejo returns as the blade-happy ex-Federale agent, who this time is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man – he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. I believe Gibson plays the anarchist. Script is by Kyle Ward based on a story by Marcel and Robert Rodriguez, latter of whom produces with Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic through their QuickDraw Productions banner, as well as Sergei Bespalov of Aldamisa Films, Alexander Rodnyansky of AR Films, and Rick Schwartz of Overnight Films.
The Gary Fleder-directed Homefront stars Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo, with a script by Sylvester Stallone, based on the book by Chuck Logan. Statham plays a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter. The only … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: ITN has dated its grindhouse indie Danny Trejo’s Vengeance to arrive on August 28, deliberately opening two weeks ahead of star Danny Trejo‘s other actioner, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills. Filmmaker Gil Medina hasn’t made a ton of friends with his bold strategy of piggybacking off of P&A for the Open Road-released Machete sequel, which ITN hopes will boost interest in their rival Trejo pic. Unorthodox Medina’s gone directly to smaller exhibitors around the country offering highly desirable splits ranging from 50/50 to 80/20 in select markets. So far he’s struck deals or is in talks to book with chains including Cinemark, Carmike, Harkins, and Megaplex Theatres to run his film ahead of Machete Kills, whose distributor Open Road is owned by top chains AMC and Regal. “I’ve been told that these chains do not care to do any favors for Open Road,” Medina told me. Utah-based Megaplex Theatres even booked the bloody revenge pic, which was shot in-state, despite its relatively conservative market. Read More »
Robert Rodriguez‘s sequel to the 2010 grindhouse-inspired Machete seems to be amping up the camp (over blood and guts) with its first trailer that dropped today. Danny Trejo is back for Machete Kills as the blade-savvy former Mexican Federale, as is Michelle Rodriguez. Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr, William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson co-star. Plans are for a trilogy, so there’s more where this came from if this one does anywhere near the first pic, which made $44M worldwide on a $10M-ish production budget. Open Road is releasing it September 13.
Robert Rodriguez was sued today for at least $11 million by an independent producer who claims the Machete Kills director used “threats and intimidation” to damage the film Danny Trejo’s Vengeanceand a new Steve Wozniak-endorsed app related to the movie. “Rodriguez feared that the promotion of another film starring Danny Trejo would diminish the Machete Kills brand and would threaten box office numbers and thus set in motion a plan to diminish ITN’s reputation and stifle the success of the film and the App Game,” says the five-count complaint (read it here) from ITN Flix. The company is seeking $11 million in damages plus more to be determined by a jury trial. In a filing in federal court Tuesday in Utah, ITN’s lawyers claim that Rodriguez and Trejo’s longtime talent agent Gloria Hinojosa of Amsel, Eisenstadt & Frazier “bullied, threatened and intimidated all people involved with Film and the App Game to damage sales and sever business relationships.”
As Deadline reported last November, ITN had developed the app Danny Trejo’s Vengeance: Woz With A Coz featuring Apple co-founder Wozniak as a way to promote the movie and create another revenue stream. As well, the company was trying to set up a campaign to promote Danny Trejo’s Vengeance on the marketing coattails of Machete Kills, which Trejo also stars in, by offering an 80-20 split with rival exhibitors of Open Road. Open Road picked up distribution for the Machete sequel in October and plans to release the film September 13, 2013. This is the second Machete Kills lawsuit Rodriguez has to face. In late November, Overnight Productions filed a suit to terminate their agreement with the director to make another movie about the rogue Mexican Federale. It successful, the case would revert all Machete rights back to Oversight and could stop the release of the movie. Read More »
The Robert Rodriguez-directed Machete Kills, the sequel to 2010′s Machete and the second film in a trilogy, will be released September 13, 2013 by Open Road. The distributor acquired the pic in October before a lawsuit was filed in a producer spat between Rodriguez’s QuickDraw Productions and Overnight Productions that could threaten the movie’s release. Rodriquez produces along with Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic through QuickDraw, as well as Sergei Bespalov of Aldamisa Films, Alexander Rodnyansky of AR Films, and Rick Schwartz of Overnight. Kyle Ward penned the screenplay for the sequel, which is based on a story by Marcel Rodriguez and Robert Rodriguez. Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale agent Machete, who is recruited by the U.S. President to take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy. Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demián Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson co-star.
Machete Kills will open against Battle Of the Year (Sony/Screen Gems) and I Frankenstein (Lionsgate).
EXCLUSIVE: Production company ITN is pulling out all the stops to promote Danny Trejo‘s upcoming film Danny Trejo’s Vengeance. In addition to the indie company releasing this month a tablet game Danny Trejo’s Vengeance: Woz With A Coz featuring Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to promote the movie, the plan is to use the eventual release date of Trejo’s Robert Rodriguez sequel Machete Kills as a sort of marketing partner. ITN is shopping Vengeance to rival exhibitors of Machete Kills‘ Open Road Films (a venture between big U.S. circuits AMC and Regal) at a discount, pitching them to open Vengeance three weeks before the eventual release date of Machete Kills. The idea is to draft on that pic’s marketing. We’re hearing the offer is to chains like Carmike and Cinemark for an 80-20 split — well beyond the usual 50-50 or 60-40 deals made for feature films.
If successful it would put two pics in the marketplace at once starring Trejo, the ex-con-turned-drug counselor who was discovered as a movie extra and now has 180-plus films to his credit. Vengeance stars the iconic tough guy as a retired undercover vice cop whose wife and daughter are murdered, and after a serving a jail sentence for a crime he didn’t commit he hits the streets bent on revenge. Medina, Trejo’s partner at ITN, directed. ITN is also in development on My Dog Zeus, Have You Considered?, and Jesus And Angelina: A Gangster Love Story. Read More »
BREAKING: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Machete Kills, the Robert Rodriguez-directed sequel that brings back Danny Trejo as the blade-savvy former Mexican Federale. Michelle Rodriguez is back, and Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr, William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson also star. Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg sealed the deal. Kyle Ward wrote the script based on a story by Marcel Rodriguez and Rodríguez.
This is the second film in what is meant to be a trilogy. Trejo returns as an ex-Federale agent who is recruited by the U.S. president for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man — he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. The last film was pure grindhouse, including something I’ve never seen before: Trejo slashed a bad guy in the gut, then unwound his intestines to use them as a rope ladder to crash through a window and land safely on the floor below. That’s a high bar, but here, he has Gibson playing the villain. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Anthony Michael Hall, Danny Trejo and Mickey Rourke will star in Dead in Tombstone, the Roel Reine-directed action adventure film that begins filming next week. Mike Elliott and Glenn Ross are producing through Universal 1440 Productions, and Shane Kuhn and Brendan Cowles wrote the script. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will distribute.
Trejo plays Guerrero Hernandez, leader of the Blackwater Gang of outlaws. But after freeing his half-brother, Red (Hall), from prison, Guerrero’s plan to loot the mining town of Edendale backfires spectacularly, when he is double crossed by his half-sibling. After making a deal with the Devil (Rourke), Guerrero comes back from the dead a year later to seek his revenge. The town, which has presciently been renamed Tombstone will soon have its dusty streets running knee-deep in a river of blood.
EXCLUSIVE:Robert Rodriguez is teaming with producer Alexander Rodnyansky to hatch a sequel to the 2010 action film Machete. Titled Machete Kills, the film is the second in a planned trilogy with what, for my money, is the best ever trailer tag line: “This time, they fucked with the wrong Mexican!” The film will be produced and financed by Alexander Rodnyansky, whose Hollywood expansion plans include a $120 million film fund with Media Talent Group’s Geyer Kosinski. AR Films U.S. is a new partnership between AR Films and Aldamisa Entertainment, whose Sergei Bespalov will manage worldwide sales of Machete Kills in Berlin.
“The fan response to the Machete character has been fanatical since his first appearance,” Rodriguez said. “Machete is truly a super hero and Machete Kills will be bigger and more ambitious than the first time.”
An April production start is being eyed. Talks are underway for Danny Trejo to reprise the title role. Rodriguez expects many of the original cast to return, at least those who didn’t end up sliced and diced in the first film by Trejo. The film is a Quick Draw Production, produced by Rodriguez, Rodnyansky, and Quick Draw’s Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic, and Sergei Bespalov and Rick Schwartz. A script has been written by Kyle Ward, and developed by Rodriguez and Marcel Rodriguez. The aim is to get Trejo back into a signature role that … Read More »
Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and already there are fireworks. Deadline broke news yesterday that Harvey Weinstein would start a VOD business, making the acquisitions market for fringe films more competitive; and last night, I heard that a bidding battle had already broken out for the Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which should be sold by the time it screens Sunday. Fox Searchlight is the favorite, Sony Pictures Classics is in the mix and I’ve heard that The Weinstein Company is hovering. Bidding began right after its Telluride screening, and the mid-six figures thrown around yesterday will probably go higher. That’s huge, considering the movie is an unabashed NC-17, McQueen has final cut, and the sex-obsessed protagonist is unlikable. Oh, yeah, and the sellers want it released this year for Oscar consideration to capitalize on Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan’s Oscar-caliber performances.
Does this mean we’re in for a drunken buying frenzy? Hardly, buyers tell me. They are eager to see the films, but say there’s no title here that’s going to guarantee somebody will overpay. They are also mindful that many of last year’s deals turned out to be box office busts. More deals will be made than … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Digital has started work on The Fake Trailer Project, a digital project inspired by Stiller’s own fake trailers that were shown in short doses in the comedy Tropic Thunder. The new project, essentially a series of at least 12 short trailer parodies, will be distributed online via a partner to be named shortly. The plan is to bring together top actors and filmmakers across all genres to take part. I’m now told that they’ll come one per week, starting in the late fall or winter.
Stiller will produce with Stuart Cornfeld and Mike Rosenstein through Red Hour Digital, with longtime Red Hour collaborator Robert Cohen exec producing and directing some of the shorts. Among the actors and directors who’ll contribute content are Stiller’s Tropic Thunder co-writer Justin Theroux, Night at the Museum scribes Tom Lennon & Ben Garant, and Clueless helmer Amy Heckerling.
Beyond Tropic Thunder, the fake trailer has provided comic currency in films like Grindhouse (where the Danny Trejo phony trailer Machete was turned into a feature). My personal favorite trailer parody was one Jerry Seinfeld came up with years ago to promote his documentary Comedian, which featured actual trailer voice-over announcer Hal Douglas.
Here was one of the fake trailers used in Tropic Thunder, featuring Robert Downey Jr as Kirk Lazarus:
The Zoo, the recently formed New York-based production and management company headed by Jack Turner, has started production on the comedic exploitation film Skinny Dip, which stars Sasha Grey, Pam Grier and Danny Trejo. The grindhouse-esque plot revolves around a woman (Grey) who turns into a shotgun-wielding vigilante after her boyfriend is killed. Frankie Latina is directing, and Turner and Nicholas Shumaker will produce. Elle Driver is representing the film for international sales in Cannes, while CAA/Submarine will represent domestic.
Here’s a clever trailer for the video game Call Of Duty: Black Ops Escalation–Call of the Dead. The zombie extravaganza at present is an add-on to the latest Call of Duty vidgame, but if the trailer for the zombie vidgame Dead Island created such a stampede among the movie rights crowd, it’s hard to imagine this won’t. Done up in Grindhouse style, it has Danny Trejo, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund and Michael Rooker as the principal zombie killers, and George Romero as the chief zombie. Since every zombie movie is basically a rip-off of Romero, it’s high time he got treated like the Stan Lee of that sub-genre.
SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM 3RDUPDATE: Late shows made the difference after a sluggish Friday box office, especially for matinees. But attendance picked up dramatically on Saturday, as much as +24%-to-+38%, allowing a clear winner for the 3-day weekend to emerge, Focus Features’ The American starring George Clooney with $12.9M. Sony’s holdover Takers was close behind Saturday. But Machete from Robert Rodriguez should finish the 3-day weekend with $11.3M, good enough for 2nd place. Here are Friday, Saturday, and estimated Labor Day holiday weekend grosses for North America. Analysis coming:
1. The American (Focus Features) NEW [2,823 Theaters] Opened Wed
Friday $3.8M, Saturday $4.9M, 3-Day Weekend $13.3M, Est 4-Day Holiday $16.1M, Est Cume $19.2M
This is the way a Clooney picture should be sold from now on. Even though early exits show that attendance was partly driven by the “George Clooney factor”, he just can’t muster wide domestic appeal even if he is still a big name on the international scene. Focus Features marketed Clooney’s The American to his core +35 adult audience as the more cerebral and sophisticated choice that was a counterprogramming alternative to the summer’s mindless crap. (Focus did the same with 2005′s The Constant Gardener.) Problem is, moviegoers didn’t like what they saw: the CinemaScore was a poor “D-”. Focus execs say Control helmer Anton Corbijn’s performance exceeded internal projections which undoubtedly it did. But a star of … Read More »
Even though Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo launch Machete today amidst an onslaught of press that tries to make the film a lightning rod for debate on immigration, that wasn’t their goal. What they really wanted was to bring back the spirit of exploitation films which seemed to seize on a political issue, only to use it as an excuse to blow shit up and drop in as much nudity and over-the-top violence as they could get away with. Mission accomplished. “This was always about making a what would feel like a good old ’70s exploitation film,” Rodriguez told me. “What they did back in the day was, run out, make an over the top movie that exploited a story in the news so that it felt like it was ripped from the headlines of today, and move faster than studios could. That’s what we did. It was 16 years ago when I met Danny and said I needed to make this movie called Machete, because he looked like this Clint Eastwood type who would not back down from a fight. Immigration is still relevant, nobody has done anything about it, but it’s a smokescreen. The real Machete story underneath was always about an action hero you underestimate, who comes from a violent background, this incorruptible former Federale hiding out as a day laborer.” Read More »