Well, that sure didn’t take long. A mere half-hour after Paramount’s Beverly Hills Cop staked the first claim to March 25, 2016, it already has a challenger. Warner Bros just announced that it has pegged that date for Skydance’s 3D sci-fi disaster pic Geostorm, from writer-director Dean Devlin and starring Gerard Butler. Will someone blink?
Focus Features has acquired U.S. rights to London Has Fallen, the sequel to last year’s White House action hit Olympus Has Fallen. Focus plans a nationwide release on October 2, 2015, pitting the film against Fox’s Frankenstein. Olympus star Gerard Butler returns for the sequel penned by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt and Christian Gudegast. Round 2 picks up in London, where the British Prime Minister has died under mysterious circumstances. His funeral is a must-attend event for leaders of the Western world. But what starts out as the most protected event on the planet turns into a deadly plot to kill the world’s most powerful leaders. Only three people have any hope of stopping it: POTUS, his formidable Secret Service head (Butler), and an English MI-6 agent who trusts no one. Butler is producing along with Alan Siegel, Mark Gill, Matt O’Toole, and Heidi Jo Markel. Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson, Christine Crow, and Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel will executive produce. Olympus Has Fallen was released on March 22, 2013, by FilmDistrict, the U.S. distrib led by Peter Schlessel before he was named Focus CEO in October. The film earned $98.9 million at the domestic box office.
Gerard Butler is chasing the big waves again. The star of Chasing Mavericks has been set to play the Zen adrenaline-junkie bank robber role originated by Patrick Swayze in Point Break, the remake of the 1991 Kathryn Bigelow film that also starred Keanu Reeves. Ericson Core is directing the remake for Alcon Entertainment‘s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. Kurt Wimmer wrote the script.
2013′s White House action hit Olympus Has Fallen will be sequelized as NuImage/Millennium Films bring returning stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman to London. This time around POTUS (Eckhart) and his trusted Secret Service bodyguard Mike Banning (Butler) plus an English MI6 agent are the only ones who can stop a plot to take down London during the Prime Minister’s funeral. Angela Bassett and Radha Mitchell also reprise their roles in London Has Fallen as the director of the Secret Service and Mike’s wife, respectively, while Freeman is back as Senator Allan Trumbull. The project is out to directors. Butler, Alan Siegel, Mark Gill, Matt O’Toole, and Danny Lerner are producing. Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson, and Christine Crow are exec producing. Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger, who scripted the first Fallen flick, will write the sequel. Filming begins in May in London, and the pic will be offered at AFM.
Brenton Thwaites is being set to star alongside Gerard Butler, Game Of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Geoffrey Rush in Gods Of Egypt, the Summit Entertainment period epic film to be directed by Alex Proyas. Butler plays Set, a god of the desert, storms, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion. He killed and mutilated his own brother Osiris. Horus (Coster-Waldau), the son of Osiris, seeks revenge. Thwaites will play Bek, a human thief who cares little for the affairs of gods but when he discovers Zaya has been cursed by Set, he falls on the side of Horus, hoping that Set’s death will break the curse. The script was written by Burk Sharpless & Matt Sazama, the team behind Universal’s Dracula pic. Thwaites has been on a good roll of landing roles lately. He got Prince Charming opposite Angelina Jolie in Maleficent; he recently wrapped production on the Helen Hunt-helmed Ride as well as The Signal. Thwaites is right now shooting The Giver with Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. Thwaites is repped by Dan Spilo at Industry Entertainment and WME.
EXCLUSIVE: Olympus Has Fallen star Gerard Butler is in discussions to join Game Of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Gods Of Egypt, the Summit Entertainment film to be directed by Alex Proyas. The script was written by Burk Sharpless & Matt Sazama, the team behind Universal’s Dracula pic. I’m told Butler is in talks to play Set, a god of the desert, storms, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion. In Egyptian mythology, he killed and mutilated his own brother Osiris. Horus, the son of Osiris, sought revenge against Set for the killing of his father. Coster-Waldau will play Horus. They have both thrived in period macho turns, Butler in 300 and Coster-Waldau as Jamie Lannister in Game Of Thrones. Sounds like a good mano a mano match shaping up here if Butler’s deal closes. He’s repped by CAA and Alan Siegel Entertainment.
The Raven is looking closer to achieving lift off. Gerard Butler is in deep negotiations to play the lead in the sci-fi conspiracy thriller that Ricardo de Montreuil is set to direct for Gold Circle Films and Universal Pictures. The feature, based on a 2010 short film by de Montreuil and Antonio Perez, was penned by Michael Gilio and Justin Marks. Butler is the second actor in as many months named for the movie’s potential lead; The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth had been in talks before. Universal picked up rights to the short in late 2010. The studio and Gold Circle will co-finance the feature, which Gold Circle will produce and Universal will distribute worldwide Paul Brooks will produce for Gold Circle with COO Scott Niemeyer executive producing. Mark Wahlberg will produce alongside Steve Levinson, who originally brought the project to the studio. Nick Osborne, Trevor Engelson and Oly Obst will executive produce for Underground Films. Butler is repped by CAA and Alan Siegel Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Gerard Butler has been set to star in Dynamo, a true story based on the novel Dynamo: Defending The Honour Of Kiev by Andy Dougan. Eli Richbourg adapted the screenplay. Riviera Pictures, Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo., and Jeremy Garelick will produce. Pathé co-developed and will co-produce and distribute the film worldwide. Talks with possible directors are underway.
Dynamo is based on the landmark soccer game that took place between an occupied Ukrainian soccer team and their Nazi captors during World War II. Butler will star as Nikolai Trusevich, the all-star goalie who served as a cornerstone and leader for his team, and ultimately inspired the entire battered city of Kiev, Ukraine. To stem a rising tide of resistance and establish Aryan superiority, the Nazi’s set up a match pitting the starving Ukrainians against a ‘super team’ of German players that to this day is still known as “The Death Match”. Dynamo will shoot in Europe in 2013.
Directed by Curtis Hanson with a little help from Michael Apted, 20th Century Fox‘s Chasing Mavericks stars Jonnny Weston as legendary boardman Jay Morarity and Gerard Butler as the veteran who taught the young surfer to master the massive waves at Mavericks in Northern California. Co-starring Elisabeth Shue, Leven Rambin and Abigail Spencer, it opens October 26.
The slow recovery of the independent distribution business took a giant step at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, which featured a fast and furious flurry of big-money deals made for partially completed films whose sellers brought sizzle reels and scripts. The Iron Lady, Wettest County In The World (retitled Lawless and in competition), Looper, Great Hope Springs, Killer Elite, The Host, The Artist and Megan Ellison’s whopping $20 million buy for Terminator rights were among the films snapped up by product-hungry domestic and offshore distributors.
This year, there will be way more pictures to be bought in the Cannes market. Agents say there will be dozens of packages, promo reels and scripts for talent-attached packages. And there will be way more upstart international sales companies hawking them. Some buyers, and sellers for that matter, are looking at the list of packages — including multiple films starring the likes of Gerard Butler and Matthew McConaughey — and wondering if some of those new sales companies will have reputations tarnished if some of those proposed films don’t make it into production because the sales aren’t there.
One thing for sure: The pace of buying will be slower. Aside from more product, there are …
EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla Films has stepped up and committed to fully finance Motor City, the Albert Hughes-directed action film that stars Gerard Butler as a man who is double crossed, and seeks revenge on the guy who put him behind bars and took his woman. Gary Oldman is aboard to play the villain, and Amber Heard the woman. The film, which has a budget north of $40 million, is now set to begin production in September through EFF and Silver Pictures. Joel Silver and Andrew Rona are producing for Silver Pictures, while Randall Emmett and George Furla board as producers for EFF, along with their funding partners, Envision Entertainment’s Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase. Brandon Grimes is coproducer. Warner Bros will distribute domestically, while foreign rights will be sold at Cannes by Mark Damon and Foresight. CAA reps domestic rights.
EXCLUSIVE: Walden Media has optioned screen rights to Ungifted, a Gordon Korman novel that will be published fall 2012 through the Balzer + Bray imprint of HarperCollins. Korman is the author of two installments of the 39 Clues series that DreamWorks is developing as a film. Ungifted is the story of a 14-year-old kid of average intelligence who’s accidentally placed in a school of gifted students and tries to hide among the brainiacs to escape punishment for a prank he pulled at his old school. He eventually shakes up the uptight, socially awkward advanced students and learns something about his own capabilities. Walden’s Amanda Morgan Palmer and Michael Bostick brought in the book and will hire a writer shortly. The author was repped by Curtis Brown. Walden Media has become quite active, attaching Jennifer Lopez to Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, setting Get Low helmer Aaron Schneider to direct The Conscientious Objector, and getting ready to wrap the Gerard Butler-Jonny Weston surf movie Of Men And Mavericks, which Curtis Hanson directed with help from Michael Apted, who helmed the last 15 shooting days because of a health issue for Hanson. Korman’s repped by Curtis Brown Ltd.
EXCLUSIVE: After experiencing health complications from a recent heart surgery, director Curtis Hanson is getting help to finish the principal photography on Of Men and Mavericks, the Walden Media drama about big wave surfer Jay Moriarity. Michael Apted is going to step in and complete the final 15 days of principal photography for Hanson, starting on Monday. They are shooting in Northern California, where Moriarity became known for riding treacherous waves called Mavericks. The film stars Gerard Butler, with newcomer Jonny Weston playing Moriarity. Fox will release the film.
EXCLUSIVE: While the material marketplace has cooled as the holiday approaches, studios have been tempted by a pitch for a fact-based thriller that has Ridley Scott attached to direct and produce through his Scott Free banner, Gerard Butler to star, and Robert Edwards (The Bomb In My Garden) to write the script. Scott will produce with Giannina Facio and Alan Siegel. Butler wants to play Simon Mann, a former British army officer who in 2004 put together a band of mercenaries to attempt a coup against the president of Equatorial Guinea. The coup attempt was thwarted in Zimbabwe, where Mann went to pick up weapons. He spent five years in a harsh prison there before being taken to Equatorial Guinea where he was sentenced to 34 years–but spared that sentence when he received a presidential pardon in 2009.. His backers –Mann said one was Mark Thatcher, son of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher—disavowed involvement with Mann after the coup failed. Both Mann and his wife Amanda have been making the rounds at studios the past several days along with Edwards, and insiders say there are high hopes this will end in a deal. Scott and Facio are also developing a biopic of Middle East pioneer Gertrude Bell and Gucci, the Fox 2000 focusing on the volatile relationship between Maurizio Gucci and ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani, who drew a 26-year sentence for plotting his 1995 murder. Angelina Jolie has …
LOS ANGELES – October 27, 2011 – Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey will star in Freedom Films’ upcoming action thriller “Thunder Run” with Simon West set to direct, announced Brian Presley, CEO of Freedom Films, who will produce alongside Carissa Buffel and Kevin Matusow of Freedom Films and Jib Polhemus of The Graphic Film Company. Additional casting will begin in the next week. Hyde Park International has signed on for international sales.
“Thunder Run,” is an all CG 3-D action thriller based on the novel “Thunder Run – The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent David Zucchino. Adapting the story for the screen are Academy Award-winner Robert Port and Ken Nolan, screenwriter of “Black Hawk Down.” The Graphic Film Company will utilize proprietary facial-capture technology they used on West’s upcoming “Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3-D” along with the motion capture technology used in “AVATAR.”
Catherine Zeta-Jones has closed her deal to star in Broken City, joining Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe in the Allen Hughes-directed drama. Zeta-Jones will play the philandering wife of the mayor of New York (Crowe). When a Brooklyn detective (Wahlberg) is hired by the mayor to identify his wife’s lover, and the lover turns up dead, the detective takes it personally and uncovers a wider conspiracy involving his employer. Brian Tucker wrote the script and Randall Emmett, Stephen Levinson, Wahlberg and George Furla will produce. The $50 million film is being fully funded by Emmett/Furla Films and New Regency recently came on as producer, with Fox distributing. Shooting begins November in New York. Zeta-Jones recently completed three big films. She’s coming off the Adam Shankman-directed Rock Of Ages with Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin, starred with Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel and Dennis Quaid in Playing The Field, and starred in the Stephen Frears-directed Lay The Favorite with Bruce Willis and Vince Vaughn. She’s repped by WME.