CBS Films announced today that it will release its airplane thriller 7500 on August 31, 2012. The Grudge helmer Takashi Shimizu is set to direct the story of a group of passengers who encounter what appears to be a supernatural force while on a transpacific flight. Craig Rosenberg (Lost) wrote the screenplay for the film, which begins shooting this month. We reported Tuesday that Leslie Bibb, Ryan Kwanten and Amy Smart will star in the film; since then, Jamie Chung, Christian Serratos and Scout Taylor-Compton have been added to the cast.
Lionsgate said today that its remake of Dirty Dancing will get a wide release on July 26, 2013. Deadline broke the news in August that the studio had set Kenny Ortega to direct the period musical drama, a new take on the iconic 1987 film that starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the 1960s-set story of a girl who summers with her family at an upscale Catskills resort and falls for the dance instructor. Ortega was the choreographer on the original movie. Maria Maggenti is writing the script on the redo, which is being produced by Ortega and Debra Martin Chase. Additionally, Lionsgate said The Possession will open on August 31, 2012, in wide release. It was previously dated on January 6, 2012.
Warner Bros has slated previously undated The Apparition for August 24, 2012. Directed by Todd Lincoln, the supernatural thriller with Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan goes up against Summit’s horror movie Sinister as well as David Koepp’s Premium Rush from Sony with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jamie Chung.
Anchor Bay made probably the biggest-ever deal at the South By Southwest Film Festival when it acquired Xavier Gens’ postapocalyptic thriller The Divide this year for the U.S. in a seven-figure deal. Now the distributor said it is releasing the film as a director’s cut on January 13, 2012 — a different cut than the one shown at SXSW. The plan is for a platform rollout in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Denver, with more markets to be announced. The movie stars Lauren German, Michael Biehn and Milo Ventimiglia in a story about a group of strangers who escape a nuclear attack by hiding out in the basement of their New York high-rise apartment building. Things get more desperate as supplies dwindle and hope fades. “We felt strongly that we needed to bring his full vision to the screen, and confident this is the version audiences will want to see,” said Jennifer Roberts, Anchor Bay Film’s SVP Brand Marketing.
As predicted here, Warner Bros completed its acquisition of domestic rights on the Steven Soderbergh-directed Magic Mike, which stars Alex Pettyfer and Channing Tatum in a Saturday Night Fever-type coming-of-age drama about a young exotic dancer who is schooled by a veteran of the trade. The studio just dated the film for release on June 29, 2012. Soderbergh and Tatum funded the film, and FilmNation is selling offshore territories at AFM. The script was written by Tatum’s Iron Horse Entertainment partner Reid Carolin, and they are producing with Nick Wechsler and Gregory Jacobs.
The film, based on the world Tatum observed when he was a male stripper, has a beefcake cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez and Kevin Nash. Warner Bros recently released Soderbergh’s Contagion, and is prepping his next film, The Man From UNCLE.
Silent House will be released by Open Road Films and Liddell Entertainment on March 9, 2012, the companies announced today. This is the horror thriller that was part of newcomer Elizabeth Olsen’s coming-out doubleheader at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; her other film there was the critical darling Martha Marcy May Marlene. It was in Park City where Liddell made the deal for Silent House, which is co-directed by Open Water helmers Chris Kentis and Laura Lau; Open Road came in over the summer to help distribute it. The film centers on a woman (Olsen) who finds herself sealed inside her family’s secluded lake house. With no contact to the outside world, and no way out, panic turns to terror as events become increasingly ominous in and around her.
EXCLUSIVE: Emboldened by the critical reaction that the Simon Curtis-directed My Week With Marilyn received in its New York Film Festival debut, The Weinstein Company has moved the film from November 4 to November 23, placing it smack into the Thanksgiving holiday fray. The film received strong reviews, particularly for Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, Kenneth Branagh’s turn as Sir Laurence Olivier, Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller, and Eddie Redmayne’s performance as the production assistant who gets Monroe to drop her suffocating star persona as he shows her a good time in Britain. TWC’s hope is that the film will be commercial enough to play through the year’s end and build momentum into Golden Globes and beyond. Just as Fox Searchlight is expected to have two contributions to the Best Actor category with Shame‘s Michael Fassbender and The Descendants’ George Clooney, Harvey Weinstein seems poised to have dual aspirants for Best Actress with Williams and Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, a film we’ve yet to see.
Salmon Fishing In The Yemen will be released by CBS Films on March 2, 2012 in a limited run. It stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt alongside Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked (Syriana) in a tale of fly-fishing and political spinning, unexpected heroism, and late-blooming love. I hear the studio, which bought the film at Toronto last month, thinks it has awards potential but didn’t want to make it a contender this late in the year.
Directed by Oscar-nominee Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) and written by Oscar-winner Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), the filmis based on Paul Torday’s acclaimed novel about a scientist who looks to fulfills a sheikh’s dream of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to his homeland in Yemen. It is produced by Paul Webster (The Motorcycle Diaries) and executive produced by Jamie Laurenson, Stephen Garrett, Paula Jalfon, Zygi Kamasa and Guy Avshalom.
Warner Bros has set September 14, 2012 to send out its Ben Affleck-directed hostage drama Argo. Affleck stars alongside Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman in the true story of a covert CIA operation to resuce six Americans trapped in Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis. The release-date calendar is fairly open that weekend, with the main competition so far being Sony/Screen Gems’ Resident Evil 5, which just finalized its cast.
Warner Bros said today that it will release its Ruben Fleischer-directed mob drama Gangster Squad on Oct. 19, 2012, right in the teeth of next year’s awards season. Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone star in the pic, which is set in 1940s-era Los Angeles and centers on a police unit that is formed to take down head gangster Mickey Cohen, who is played by Penn. Also set to be released on that date is Lionsgate’s romantic comedy The Big Wedding with Robert De Niro and Susan Sarandon as well as Paramount Vantage’s untitled David Chase film, his feature directorial debut, about a group friends in 1960s New Jersey who form a garage band. UPDATE: The studio also said it is shifting its Zac Efron-starrer The Lucky One, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, from Aug. 12, 2012 to April 20, 2012.
20th Century Fox has dated The Three Stooges, Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s take on the iconic comedy trio, for April 4, 2012. Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos star as the threesome; Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, Sofia Vergara, Craig Bierko, Stephen Collins, and Larry David co-star. The story revolves around the boys as they become embroiled in an oddball murder plot and stumble into starring in a hit reality TV series while trying to save their childhood orphanage.
Warner Bros said today that it has found a place for its Zac Efron movie The Lucky One, which will be released Aug. 24, 2012. The romantic drama based on Nicholas Sparks’ novel stars Efron as a Marine who survives three tours of Iraq, attributing his good luck to a photo he carried of a woman he doesn’t even know. When he returns to the U.S., he sets out to find her. Scott Hicks is directing; Taylor Schilling also stars. Denise DiNovi and Kevin McCormick are producing.
In a surprise development, Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road has set the Joe Carnahan-directed killer wolf pack thriller The Grey to open wide on Jan. 27. Now, that puts the movie beyond the Oscars. But I’m told that Open Road has left open the possibility that the film could get a qualifying run in two theaters before year’s end so that Liam Neeson would qualify for the Best Actor category. I must say I am a bit surprised that the qualifying run isn’t an automatic. Buyers who watched the movie and bid on it in July before Open Road won it — paying near $8 million and a $25 million P&A commitment for U.S. rights — all hailed Neeson’s performance as Oscar bait. The deal was based on watching 30 minutes of scenes, but word was that opening this year, even just to qualify, was a priority for the sellers and a reason some distributors with full Oscar-season skeds shied away. Neeson plays the leader of a group of oil drillers who struggle to survive in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes smack in the middle of a territorial rogue wolf pack. Carnahan won’t finish the film in time to show it at Telluride, Toronto or the New York Film Festival, but they will get enough feedback from advance screenings to make a decision about whether it’s ready to wage an Oscar campaign for Neeson, who was nominated once in his career for Schindler’s List and has enjoyed a leading man resurgence thanks to Taken. Here is Open Road’s official announcement about the date:
Paramount Pictures has set Dec. 21, 2012 as the release date for World War Z, the Marc Forster-directed adaptation of the Max Brooks zombie-infestation novel. The film is in production now, with Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale starring. Pitt is producing with his Plan B partner Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Colin Wilson. The film’s co-financed by David Ellison’s Skydance Productions and Jeff Sagansky’s Hemisphere Media Capital. And Graham King’s GK Films has also come aboard as financier, with King and Tim Headington taking executive producer credit.
How does that crowd the holiday field? Warner Bros opens the Peter Jackson-directed The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Dec. 14. WWZ then comes the following week, smack against Relativity Media’s Hunter Killer, Fox’s Life of Pi and Disney’s Johnny Depp-starrer Lone Ranger on Dec. 21. The Weinstein Company follows on Christmas with the Quentin Tarantino-directed Django Unchained. That’s a lot of good product in a compressed time period.
Sony Pictures has targeted Aug. 2, 2013 as the release date for a sequel to The Smurfs, even though the studio at this point has only locked Jordan Kerner to be the film’s producer. The notion of making a sequel is a no-brainer after the original nearly beat the pricier Cowboys & Aliens in its opening weekend and has so far taken in $135 million worldwide. It opened No. 1 in 23 offshore markets last weekend.
20th Century Fox has dated the 3D Walking With Dinosaurs to open Dec. 20, 2013. The film, directed by Neil Nightingale and Pierre De Lespinios and scripted by John Collee, is based on the live touring show and the TV show, and the goal is to create an immersive experience with 3D to re-create an epic prehistoric world where an “underdog dinosaur triumphs to become a hero for the ages.” The film’s produced by Reliance, BBC Earth Films, Evergreen, IM Global and Jinko Gotoh.
Sony said today that it has slated Columbia Pictures’ Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance for wide release on Feb. 17, 2012. The 3D film, a sequel to the 2007 original, again stars Nicolas Cage, and is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
Paramount Vantage will give a platform release to Jay and Mark Duplass’ Jeff Who Lives at Home on March 2, 2012, the studio said today. The comedy stars Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon and just was slated for a Special Presentation slot at September’s Toronto Film Festival, where it will have its world premiere.
Paramount said today that it will release its teen comedy Fun Size wide on Oct. 12, 2012. The pic, from the Fake Empire team of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, stars Victoria Justice, Josh Pence, Johnny Knoxville and Chelsea Handler and centers on a troubled but whip-smart girl who loses her oddball little brother on Halloween and has one desperate night to track him down. Schwartz directs a screenplay by Max Werner.