John Madden has been set to direct Murder Mystery, a comedic whodunit movie that Charlize Theron will co-produce and is negotiating to star in. James Vanderbilt wrote the script, and he is producing with Tripp Vinson, Beau Flynn, Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern, Tower Hill’s William Shively, and Theron through her Denver and Delilah Productions. Endgame’s Julie Goldstein and Lucas Smith will oversee production, and Doug E. Hansen will executive produce. The plan is for a first-quarter 2013 production start, with Endgame and Tower Hill financing. The film is described as an “affectionate deconstruction” of an Agatha Christie tale involving comedy, action, and mystery around an American couple abroad.
Madden is coming off helming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the Fox Searchlight hit that has crossed $100 million in global box office. He is repped by CAA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates. Vanderbilt is repped by WME and UFUS, and Theron by WME.
James Stern’s Endgame Entertainment will co-finance with Private Defense Contractors the Steven Soderbergh-directed ‘Bitter Pill.’ The film stars Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures had originally been expected to finance, but that became shaky in the past few weeks. That gives the film new funding and a new titles. The film was originally titled Bitter Pill, but was retitled Side Effects, before going back to Bitter Pill. Open Road is releasing domestically.
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, Endgame Entertainment won a spec auction for Flashback, the Will Honley script that made the 2011 Black List. The logline: After becoming the first human to break the speed of light, a NASA pilot is struck with amnesia, and in the search for the memories of who he was, he discovers he has the ability to travel back in time. Honely will do a quick pass before the script goes out to directors. The scribe is fresh out of the UCLA graduate screenwriting program and is repped by Verve and Mindframe Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Martin Campbell has been set to direct Umbra, the Endgame Entertainment-funded drama that Joe Carnahan has dropped out of. Paul Haggis, who came on to do rewrite work on the Campbell-directed Casino Royale, has also been brought on to do a rewrite on the drama about a business man who gets a mysterious package in the mail and gets caught up in a government conspiracy. Shooting will begin in the spring.
Endgame’s James Stern is producing with Hal Lieberman and Campbell’s production partner Lucienne Papon has also joined as producer. Carnahan dropped out of the film, in what I’m told was an amicable parting for personal reasons for Carnahan, who directed the upcoming Liam Neeson-starrer The Grey, which Open Road releases January 27. The script was written by Steven Karczynski and Carnahan had done re-write work on the most recent draft. Campbell’s repped by CAA. Campbell and Haggis are repped by CAA and Haggis is managed by IPG. Campbell last directed Green Lantern.
Just in time for AFM, James Stern’s long in the works P&A fund has finally closed. Here’s the announcement.
Los Angeles (November 3, 2011) – Leading Hollywood-based independent producer and financier Endgame Entertainment has announced the creation of Endgame Releasing, an innovative new marketing venture that will partner with equity investors, third-party producers and studios to provide marketing and distribution funding (known as Prints and Advertising or “P&A”) for wide release films. Endgame Releasing will provide P&A of $20–plus million for films released on a minimum of 1,800 screens and expects to finance the release of 4 to 6 films per year totaling $400 to $500 million in P&A investments over the next 4 years.
Endgame Entertainment has invested the equity portion of the $150 million revolving financing facility, with London-based Octopus Investments providing the mezzanine debt and a consortium of banks lead by Comerica and Union Bank providing a revolving senior debt facility.
Endgame Releasing will release through major studios and major independent distributors providing films and film makers with the benefits of studio-level marketing and distribution support and affording producers greater financial control and participation in marketing process. The non-exclusive, multi-picture model will allow for a diverse portfolio of projects and an opportunistic approach to investments, matching each film with the right distributor and release date.
With the ability to partner on films at any stage of production, there is the added potential of Endgame helping to complete a financing
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EXCLUSIVE: Umbra, the Steven Karczynski-scripted thriller, nearly got off the ground last year at Relativity Media with director Roger Donaldson and Nicolas Cage. But it fell apart over budget. It has come together at Endgame with Joe Carnahan making a deal to rewrite the script and direct. The thriller concerns a man who finds an old cassette tape which reveals a horrifying secret. Hal Lieberman will produce with Endgame’s James Stern. Carnahan is out to cast on The Grey, a drama he’ll direct that has Liam Neeson starring. Carnahan, who last directed Fox’s The A Team, is repped by CAA.
James D. Stern’s Endgame Entertainment, plus “This American Life” producer-writer-host Ira Glass and his producing partner Alissa Shipp, announced today they are teaming with Marc Forster and Bradford Simpson’s Apparatus to produce a film. It’s titled Heretics, based on the “This American Life” episode of the same name. Marcus Hinchey (All Good Things) is writing the screenplay as a potential directing vehicle for Forster, with Endgame financing.
Endgame recently partnered with Glass and Shipp to produce the Phillip Noyce-directed spy thriller Wenceslas Square, which is currently being fast-tracked for production. Heretics tells the true story of Carlton Pearson, a rising star in the evangelical movement who was ostracized by his own Church after he started preaching that there is no Hell.
“This film lets us tell a story about evangelical Christians from their perspective, not from the outside,” said Glass. “And at its heart, it’s a classic old-fashioned movie plot: a man who stands up for what he believes and loses everything because of it.”
“This American Life” is a weekly public radio show produced by WBEZ Radio and distributed by Public Radio International.