EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, FilmNation Entertainment has acquired In the Event of a Moon Disaster, a Mike Jones spec script that re-imagines the first moon mission. In this version, disaster strikes and the astronauts find themselves up against insurmountable odds. Jones, a former colleague of mine at Variety, turned his attention to screenwriting and has been working steadily. Most recently, he has been collaborating with Henry Selick on an untitled Pixar project, and Jones also scripted a reboot of Popeye for Sony Pictures. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder will produce the space mission film, and Glen Basner will handle international sales. It will be the largest-budget film so far for FilmNation, which has aggressively put together its slate of projects.
FilmNation is in talks with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon to star in Mud, the next film by Jeff Nichols, with whom FilmNation worked on Take Shelter. It also is fully financing Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli’s next untitled project, and recently completed the Jennifer Lawrence-starrer House at the End of the Street and The Raven, which stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe; Relativity Media releases that James McTeigue-directed film early next year. FilmNation will be bringing to Toronto Take Shelter; Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In; the Hugh Laurie-starrer The Oranges; and Midnight’s Children, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel. Jones is repped by CAA and The Gotham Group.
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity Media has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to The Raven, the Intrepid Pictures’ thriller that stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe. James McTiegue directed, and Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson and Oliver Jackson-Cohen also star. Scripted by Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare, the drama tells a fictionalized account of Poe’s last few days, as he tracks a serial killer who has been using Poe’s macabre works for inspiration. The film was produced by Intrepid Pictures’ partners Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans, and FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder. Intrepid financed the film and just completed The Cold Light of Day with Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver starring.
Luke Evans has been set to star alongside John Cusack in The Raven, the drama that will be directed by V for Vendetta’s James McTeigue. Production starts later this year in Eastern Europe. Cusack plays Edgar Allan Poe in stylized revisionist take of the last week of the poet’s life, written by Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston. Evans will play a detective who teams with the poet to track down a serial killer who’s kidnapped Poe’s fiancée. I’m hearing Alice Eve is likely to play the female lead.
Evans is an up and comer who played Apollo in Clash of the Titans, plays Zeus in the upcoming Tarsem-directed The Immortals, and is in production playing Aramis in the Paul WS Anderson-directed 3D The Three Musketeers. Evans also stars in the Stephen Frears-directed Tamara Drewe. The coproduction between Intrepid and FilmNation will be produced by Trevor Macy, Marc D. Evans and Aaron Ryder. CAA will broker a domestic distribution deal shortly, with FilmNation’s Glen Basner selling foreign. The picture shapes up as an under $35 million film meant for wide distribution, which has become a sweet spot for independent distributors.