Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s return to big-screen actioners has been steady but slow, with January’s The Last Stand grossing $12.1M domestically and last month’s Escape Plan — with Sly Stallone and directed by Mikael Hafstrom — faring a bit better at $24.3M and counting. But those still feel like Arnold is warming up in the bullpen with new Conan and Terminator pics in the wings. However, next up for him is David Ayer‘s Sabotage, from QED and Open Road Films and due April 11. Schwarzenegger is doing his thing as the leader of an elite DEA task force that busts a big cartel and then deals with the payback, but Ayer’s stylish flair for action and a cast that includes Sam Worthington, Mireille Enos, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello and Olivia Williams makes this pic the most intriguing of the lot so far. Here’s the trailer that just dropped – you tell us if you think he’s getting into fighting shape:
EXCLUSIVE: Composer Steven Price, who scored Gravity, has signed on to create the music for David Ayer‘s currently untitled WWII tank film, which stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal and Michael Peña. The film was put together under the title Fury. Price previously scored Edgar Wright’s The World’s End and Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block. The WWII film will be released by Sony Pictures November 12, 2014.
“Steven Price’s fresh approach to scoring and his extraordinary creativity make him the perfect collaborator for my film,” said Ayer. The film is set near the end of WWII in April 1945, as the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre. A battle-hardened army sergeant (Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, they face overwhelming odds as they strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
EXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt is in final negotiations to star in Fury, the David Ayer-directed drama that will start production in September. This is the Ayer script that Bill Block‘s QED International paid $1 million to acquire back in February. It was QED’s biggest spec deal ever, and when an indie company hooks a star like Pitt, it’s money well spent. Fury is a WWII script by the End Of Watch writer-director, and QED will produce with John Lesher and his Le Grisbi Productions banner. Ethan Smith, Block and Lesher are producing and they are eyeing a fall production start. QED is selling foreign.
The action takes place in 1945 as the Nazi regime collapses and the five-man crew of an American tank called Fury battles a desperate German army. Ayer and QED reteam after the action thriller Ten, which Ayer directed and which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington and Mireille Enos. Open Road will release it next January. Lesher produced Ayer’s End Of Watch. Pitt most recently starred in and produced World War Z, but he’s back in the WWII territory of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.
BREAKING: In what amounts to the biggest spec deal so far this year, Bill Block‘s QED International has paid $1 million for Fury, a WWII spec script by End Of Watch writer/director David Ayer. Ayer will direct, and QED will produce with John Lesher and his Le Grisbi Productions banner. Ethan Smith, Block and Lesher are producing and they are eyeing a fall production start. QED is selling foreign.
The action takes place in 1945 as the Nazi regime collapses and the five man crew of an American tank called Fury battles a desperate German army. Ayer and QED reteam after the action thriller Ten, which Ayer directed and which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington and Mireille Enos. Open Road will release it next January. Lesher produced Ayer’s End Of Watch.
Describing his project, Ayer said his goal is to “bring a fresh execution to the genre. What these men went through is worthy of a complex, honest portrayal. This will have incredible, visceral action and complex rich characters. I plan to bring tank combat to life in a way that lands with a modern audience.”
EXCLUSIVE: Max Martini is in negotiations to join the cast of Breacher. The actor will play Pyro, a member of the elite DEA team at the heart of the David Ayer-directed action thriller. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Avatar’s Sam Worthington, and Terrence Howard, Breacher chronicles the team as they are systematically killed off one by one following their theft of drug cartel money. Skip Woods wrote the script. QED International is providing the financing, with Open Road distributing.
Open Road Films has put up this R-rated trailer for writer-director David Ayer’s End Of Watch, which looks at the workday activities of two L.A. cops — Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena — from the perspective of various hand-held, dashboard and security cameras. Co-starring Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, …
Open Road’s deal last month to distribute the cop drama written and directed by David Ayer included a 2,000-screen rollout, a minimum guarantee just north of $2 million and a $20 million P&A commitment. Now …
BREAKING: Open Road is closing a deal for U.S. distribution rights to End Of Watch, the David Ayer-directed cop drama that stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena and Anna Kendrick. I’m told that Open Road will release the film later this year. They’ve committed to a 2,000-screen run, with a minimum guarantee just north of $2 million and a $20 million P&A commitment.
EXCLUSIVE: Training Day scribe David Ayer has been hired to write the new version of Scarface for Universal Pictures. The film will put a contemporary spin on the outlaw tale first released in 1932 with Paul Muni playing an Italian who took over Chicago, and then turned into the spectacularly violent 1983 film that starred Al Pacino as Tony Montana, a Cuban who took over the cocaine trade in 1980s Miami. The new film is being produced by Marc Shmuger and his Global Produce banner along with Martin Bregman, who produced the Brian De Palma-directed version. When the studio set up the project in late September, the intention wasn’t to do a remake as much as to marry the common elements of the two films with a contemporary crime context. Basically, the focus is on an outsider, an immigrant who barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition.
Ayer tells me that he is not at all cowed by stepping into an iconic title. “This is a fantasy for me, I can still remember when I saw the film at 13 and it blew my mind,” he said. “I sought it out; I went after it hard. I see it as the story of the American dream, with a character whose moral compass points in a different direction. That puts it right in my wheelhouse. I studied both the original Ben Hecht-Howard Hawks movie and the DePalma-Pacino version and found some universal themes. I’m still under the hood figuring out the wiring that will translate, but both films had a specificity of place, there was unapologetic violence, and a main character who socially scared the shit out of people, but who had his own moral code. Each was faithful to the underworld of its time. There are enough opportunities in the real world today that provide an opportunity to do this right. If it was just an attempt to remake the 1983 film, that would never work.”
Emmett/Furla Films, a company that has been growing more ambitious in the film financing and production arena, has teamed with Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase’s Envision Entertainment to establish a new $250 million revolving equity and debt fund to finance a new slate of star-driven commercial films. The fund was announced as EFF principal Randall Emmett comes to Toronto to make deals on films that include the Allen Hughes-directed political corruption drama Broken City, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, and Frozen Ground, the fact-based thriller about a serial killer in Alaska that will star Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. Martirosyan and Chase are executive producers on the latter.
The fund carries no set restrictions on how and where capital is allocated, but it will continue EFF’s momentum. The company recently financed the Stephen Frears-directed Lay The Favorite — with a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Vince Vaughn and Catherine Zeta-Jones — with films in the works that include the David Ayer-directed crime drama End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick; Fire with Josh Duhamel, Willis and Rosario Dawson; and Freelancers, a drama that stars Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. EFF’s Emmett continues to be Jackson’s partner in Cheetah Vision Films, which has a deal at Lionsgate. EFF will make nine films this year.