More than a year and a half after Martin Scorsese was sued by producer Cecchi Gori for not directing Silence, the two sides have worked out a deal. “The matter has been settled in its entirety,” said a 1-page order from LA Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis. The January 17 order (read it here) offered no details of the settlement. On August 22, 2012, Gori Pictures went after Scorsese and his Sikelia Productions for breach of written contract for allegedly constantly pushing back his commitment to direct an adaptation of Shusako Endo’s novel about Portuguese Jesuit missionaries who travel Japan to investigate reports of Christians persecuted and tortured by the Emperor of Japan. Claiming that they had invested more than $750,000 in the project, Cecchi Gori wanted millions in producer fees plus credits and 20% of Scorsese/Sikelia’s backend participation on “each feature film that Scorsese should direct after Hugo and before Silence (including without limitation Wolf of Wall Street),” said their complaint. In response, the director said the “meritless action” suit had “all the earmarks of a media stunt.” The two sides kept grinding away and after various filings put a stop on the court clock to work on a settlement.
BREAKING: Bruce Willis will star in The Prince, an action thriller that will be produced and financed by Emmett/Furla Films. The $15 million budget film will be directed by Sarik Andreasyan (American Heist) from a script by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore, who scripted Ride at Fox and San Andreas 3D for New Line. Grindstone/Lionsgate Films will distribute and Hannibal Pictures will handle international sales. A retired Las Vegas mob enforcer is forced to return to the city and face his former enemies when his teenage daughter goes missing. Willis plays a man who has waited years for the enforcer to return, and a confrontation is inevitable. Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing with Adam Goldworm, and Barry Brooker, Stan Wertlieb and Brandon Grimes will executive produce. Tim Sullivan is co-producer. Casting is underway for an October start in New Orleans.
EXCLUSIVE: Martin Scorsese will finally realize his long-held dream to direct Silence, an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel about 17th century Jesuits who risk their lives to bring Christianity to Japan. Financing for the film has been secured by Emmett/Furla Films and Paul Breuls and his Corsan Films. The plan is to shoot in Taiwan in July 2014, depending on cast, from a script by Jay Cocks and Scorsese.
I’m told that things are moving fast on this and that they are all making plans for Scorsese to come to Cannes and launch the picture. Talks are underway with Graham King for his ownership stake in the script. Numerous sales companies have been vying to handle foreign rights, but that task will fall to Len Blavatnik and Stuart Ford, who’ll jointly handle foreign on the film for Emmett/Furla through their respective Axis Films and IM Global.
The film will be produced by Irwin Winkler, Emmett and Furla, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Checchi Gori, and Barbara DeFina, with Niels Juul exec producing. Scorsese will jump into the film after he completes The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Scorsese has wanted to make Silence since 1991. He has gotten close numerous times, with actors like Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal among those mentioned over the years. But the pic has always gotten pushed, and there was even a lawsuit over how long it all took. Even that didn’t dampen Scorsese’s passion. It is not the easiest or most commercial project, but when a master like Scorsese is so passionate about a movie that it sticks with him more than 20 years, he’s going to find a way to make it, and now he has. He’s repped by WME and Rick Yorn. This is another big step for Emmett/Furla, which has films upcoming that include the Peter Berg-directed Lone Survivor and the Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg-starrer 2 Guns. Getting in business with Scorsese is a prestige play, and with the reticence of major studios to take big chances on proven filmmakers, it shows the opportunity for an indie company with backing and balls.
When the Emmett/Furla Films-funded Motor City cratered just before production began, an arbitration petition was filed by film financing company Row 1, claiming it was owed $2.6 million, for pre-production financing. I’m told that dispute has been settled.
A film financing company claims Emmett/Furla Films owes it over $2.6 million for a loan for the now shuttered Motor City and it wants the courts to ensure it can get the cash back. In its Petition for Provisional Relief Pending Arbitration (read it here) filed Wednesday, Row 1 Entertainment says that it provided a short-term bridge loan to EFF last July for $1,735,000. The money was intended for pre-production financing for Motor City and was supposed to be paid back on October 9, 2012. However, EFF suspended production on Motor City on September 1 because of scheduling and release date hassles. The Albert Hughes directed project has not been resurrected, star Gerard Butler is going after EFF for pay-or-play money and Row 1 says despite repeated efforts it hasn’t gotten its dough.
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off the hit sequel Taken 2, director Olivier Megaton has been set by Emmett/Furla Films to next helm the $60 million action thriller Taking Gotham. The Thomas Kelly-scripted film, based on actual events, is about a secret unit of the NYPD that was created in response to a string of brutal robberies in New York City. After a deadly sting operation, the elite unit is disavowed by the NYPD, forcing them to go deep underground in order to clear their names. Production will get underway next March. The film earlier had Brass Monkey helmer Nicolai Fuglsig attached, but it will be Megaton who directs this, and casting will begin immediately.
In his TV series debut, veteran action-movie actor Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables) has signed to star in Emmett/Furla Films & Tower 18 Prods.’ upcoming action-adventure drama series Rescue 3. Emmett/Furla Films, in conjunction with Envision Entertainment, is co-financing a full season of 20 episodes of Rescue 3 for a fall 2013 premiere.
Now the company has found an U.S. distributor in Tribune Broadcasting, which will launch Rescue 3 on its stations in primetime in fall 2013. Tribune has picked up the series with a massive two-year order with a 104-week guarantee. “We are very happy that first-run scripted programming is back in syndication,” said Sean Compton, President of Programming and Entertainment at Tribune. Indeed, Rescue 3 is a throwback to old times, when action-adventure series like Baywatch, Xena, Hercules and Andromeda heated up the syndication market. There have been no new entries in the genre since the end of Legend Of The Seeker two years ago. Tribune has been adventures with its pickups recently; the station group also is behind a new late-night talk show starring Arsenio Hall, also a genre that had disappeared from syndication.
Emmett/Furla Films will finance and co-produce three films based on Hasbro properties in the next two years. The deal was announced today by co-founders Randall Emmett & George Furla and Hasbro’s Senior Vice President and head of Hasbro Films, Bennett Schneir. Emmett/Furla and Hasbro will co-produce with Brandon Grimes; Envision Entertainment’s Stepan Martisoyan and Remington Chase and Emmett/Furla will co-finance. First up will be Monopoly, which they hope to get into production next year. Hasbro’s last overall deal was at Universal, which made Battleship with them. The studio scrapped plans to do several other Hasbro films, some of which have been set up elsewhere.
EXCLUSIVE: When Deadline revealed in Toronto that Emmett/Furla Films had set Nicolas Cage for the action thriller I Am Wrath, we told you that William Friedkin was circling to direct the project. I’m hearing that Friedkin is pretty much committed to do the film. Friedkin, who has helmed some of the great action crime thrillers – To Live And Die In LA and The French Connection – will make this his follow-up to Killer Joe.
Following the murder of his wife, Stanley (Cage) finds that the police are unable to catch the perpetrators. He uncovers a thick plot of police corruption and realizes that he will have to find justice on his own. As he awakens to the level of degradation of the people sworn to serve and protect, we get a little Rage in the Cage as he becomes a vigilante out to destroy those who abuse their power. Paul Sloan wrote the script based on a story by Yvan Gauthier. Lionsgate will release domestically on a film that begins production in February. Emmett and Furla are producing with Cheetah Vision Films’ Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Grindstone’s Barry Brooker & Stan Wertlieb, Vallelonga Productions’ Nick Vallelonga, Richard Salvatore & David Omston.
EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla Films has set Nicolas Cage for the action thriller I Am Wrath. This comes after Cage starred with John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens in The Frozen Ground for Emmett/Furla co-founders Randall Emmett and George Furla. William Friedkin, who knows his way around taut crime thrillers with films like To Live And Die In LA and The French Connection, is circling to make the film his follow to Killer Joe, I’m told. Paul Sloan wrote the script based on a story by Yvan Gauthier. Lionsgate will release the film domestically on a film that begins production in February.
Following the murder of his wife, Stanley (Cage) finds that the police are unable to catch the perpetrators. He uncovers a thick plot of police corruption and realizes that he will have to find justice on his own. As he awakens to the level of degradation of the people sworn to serve and protect, we get a little Rage in the Cage as he becomes a vigilante out to destroy those who abuse their power.
EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla Films co-founders Randall Emmett & George Furla have acquired Fair Trade, an action thriller that had been developed by Alcon Entertainment as a potential vehicle for Liam Neeson. They want Neeson, and while it isn’t immediately clear if the actor will star, Emmett/Furla will finance the film for a summer start in Pittsburgh. The film is based on the Serbian thriller The Trap. Ericson Core (Invincible) is directing a script by Matt Aldrich. Emmett/Furla is in final negotiations with Open Road Films for domestic distribution. The Open Road team is here in Toronto unveiling one of the fest’s hot titles, End Of Watch. That David Ayer-directed film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena.
I just can’t get past the shock that Tony Scott passed away and won’t be practicing his kinetic style of film making anymore. The people who worked on projects with him and are left to pick up the pieces …
BREAKING: Emmett/Furla Films, which has become an increasingly prolific backer of mid-budget feature films, has launched a TV production division. It kicks off with Rescue 3, a series set against the beautiful backdrop of Southern California’s world-famous beaches. Created …