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‘Star Wars’ Sets Short Hiatus As Two Actors Join Film

By | Sunday July 6, 2014 @ 12:27pm PDT

‘Star Wars’ Sets Short Hiatus As Two Actors Join FilmSome tidbits, none that earth-shattering, have trailed out of the Star Wars production, as they’ve scheduled a two-week break in August and added two newbies to the cast. The Lucasfilm/Disney production of Star Wars Episode VII picked the two actors after an open casting call across 11 U.S. and U.K. cities that garnered (as you can imagine) almost 70,000 applicants. The two-week hiatus in August was called as a result of schedule adjustments after  star Harrison Ford broke his ankle last month. We’re told that Ford, who is undergoing physical therapy for the next few weeks, has been recovering well and is expecting to return to the set soon.

After wrapping on-location filming in Abu Dhabi in May, principal photography continues at Pinewood Studios in London. LucasFilm said that the production remains on schedule, even with the hiatus, and should wrap in the fall in time for the Dec. 18, 2015 release. Read More »

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UPDATE: Harrison Ford Breaks Ankle In ‘Star Wars’ Mishap

By | Thursday June 12, 2014 @ 5:07pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 5:07 PM PT: There are all kinds of reports circulating HARRISONthat make it sound like Harrison Ford got mashed in that trash compactor in the original Star Wars. It’s not as bad as what’s being reported, I’m told, but Ford has a fractured ankle. This is a painful break for him, and a tough break for the movie, because he’s such an integral part of the plot.

PREVIOUS, 11:55 AM PT: Han Solo doesn’t move like he did 35 years ago. Harrison Ford suffered an injury to his ankle, filming the JJ Abrams-directed Star Wars film. Disney released this statement: “Harrison Ford sustained an ankle injury during filming today on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. He was taken to a local hospital and is receiving care. Shooting will continue as planned while he recuperates.” Here’s wishing him well, since he’s booked for Star Wars duty, Alcon is planning to bring him back to star in another Blade Runner, and Disney plots another Indiana Jones. Ford’s 71 now, so presumably he’ll be able to relax around the time he’s 85. Ford’s ankle is repped by UTA.

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Cannes: ‘Expendables 3′ Cast Storms Croisette; Sly, Arnie, Mel, Harrison & More Riff “We Are Children With Arthritis”

Expendables 3 Cannes 2014
When I exclusively reported earlier this month that Millennium Films was planning a massive stunt with the cast of The Expendables 3 storming the Croisette today, I had a feeling it would be rather extraordinary — but I didn’t know it would end up to be one of the most entertaining events I’ve attended in 17 years in Cannes. The action brigade rolled into town this morning – on tanks no less – giving throngs of "The Expendables 3" Photocall - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festivalonlookers something to gawk at, and journalists inside a packed press conference the hourlong thrill of seeing mega-franchise stars riffing on everything from their advancing age to the state of today’s action films, how their competitiveness has waned from the ’80s and why this movie will be PG-13. “We are children with arthritis, we are young forever,” said writer- star Sylvester Stallone to great applause when he was asked how he and his cronies will know when it’s time to hang it up on actioners. He added, “I think if you wake up in the morning and your ass falls off, it’s time to retire.”

Cannes2014_badge__140417160328-150x150 (1)For now, the franchise isn’t eyeing retirement. It has made about $580M at the global box office so far. But both of the first films were rated R. This one is going out PG-13. Stallone explained, “We want to reach as many people as possible. It’s very close to an R, believe me, it’s right there. But I think we owe it to the next generation. We thought we’d join that club for a while.”

Related: Cannes: Sly, Arnie, Mel & More To Storm Croisette For Mega ‘Expendables 3′ Event

Read More »

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‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Begins Filming: First-Look Photo

By | Friday May 16, 2014 @ 12:14am PDT

star-wars-logo__130325012712-200x144__131107212744Just over two weeks ago the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII was finally revealed with some new faces and also some very familiar names. Looks like they got to work very quickly on the Disney pic because today director JJ AbramsBad Robot tweeted a photo from the first day of filming on a Star Wars movie in over a decade:

With the first of three new movies from a galaxy far far away set to be released on December 18, 2015, Harrison FordCarrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill; Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Adam Driver (Girls), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, About Time), Oscar-nominee Max von Sydow, and UK actress Daisy Ridley and Anthony Daniels AKA C-3PO Peter Mayhew AKA Chewbacca and Kenny Baker AKA R2-D2 will have a very busy summer and beyond over there in the UK. But, of course, the Force will be with them as always.

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Harrison Ford Asked To Reprise Role In ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel

By | Thursday May 15, 2014 @ 9:24am PDT

Harrison Ford Comic-ConAlcon Entertainment has an offer out to Harrison Ford to reprise his role of Rick Deckard in its Ridley Scott-directed sequel to Blade Runner. Original screenwriter Hampton Fancher and Michael Green are writing the new one, which takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Alcon acquired Blade Runner‘s film, television and ancillary rights in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels of the sci-fi cult classic. Yorkin will serve as a producer on blade_runnerthe sequel along with Alcon’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will co-produce. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. Alcon actually sent a press release out that it offered the role to Ford (which is unusual in itself), but Ford gave an interview recently saying he was anxious to see the script. He has expressed interest in reprising the role in the past, but no deal is set as he has yet to read the script.

Related: Ridley Scott To Direct New ‘Blade Runner’ Installment

If Ford agrees to the script, this is the second audience-pleasing role the actor would be stepping into. He is also set in the next installment of the Star Wars franchise as the actor is currently readying to reprise his role as … Read More »

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Cannes: Sly, Arnie, Mel & More To Storm Croisette For Mega ‘Expendables 3′ Event

EXCLUSIVE: In one of the greatest assemblages of international star power — and muscle — that Cannes has ever seen, a baker’s dozen of Expendables 3 castmembers are set to hit town on Sunday, May 18 for a full day of events. Expendables3Attending are Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell, along with director Patrick Hughes. Cannes2014_badgeMillennium Films president Mark Gill tells me the day will start with a screening of footage from the movie, followed by the action brigade arriving at the Carlton Hotel for a press conference and photo call. How will they get there? Why, in tanks of course! Millennium, which is organizing the testosterone fest, is seeing that a stretch of the Croisette is shut down to accommodate the armored vehicles. At the Carlton, it’s also bought banners representing each of the characters which will adorn the façade. Later that evening, there will be a big soirée at the Palm Beach nightclub.

Cannes is habitually used as a platform to launch and promote Hollywood movies off the red carpet, but in recent years the studios have cut back on … Read More »

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Rumor Mill Wild As ‘Star Wars’ Cast Revelation Gets Close

By | Monday April 28, 2014 @ 5:37pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Oscar Isaac Star Wars CastLooks like JJ Abrams, who is so secretive he probably still won’t admit to having directed the first two Star Trek movies, is finally going to have to divulge his cast for the revamp of Star Wars. The force is with him, in that he’s got a big table read tomorrow with the cast in London, and so he’s finally going to be forced to fess up shortly. There have been more rumors on this one than any film in recent memory, and here’s the latest.

star-wars-logo__130325012712-200x144__131107212744I’m hearing that Inside Llewyn Davis star Oscar Isaac is in line for a major role, as is Adam Driver and Attack the Block’s John Boyega, both of whom have been rumored. There is also a young girl, and that might be Maisie Richardson-Sellers, an Oxford-trained actress whose casting has been rumored in recent weeks. The new cast members will join returning Star Wars alums Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. The big surprise, I’m told, is that Ford has a gigantic role in the first of the next three films. Disney hasn’t been commenting on any of this, and today’s no different. Stay tuned.

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Producer Steve Golin Sues Lakeshore Over Harrison Ford Pic ‘Adaline’

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 5:47pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEThe CEO of Anonymous Content today let loose against Lakeshore Entertainment over its firing of him last year from the romantic drama Adaline. “There is no polite way to put it: Lakeshore tried to pull a fast one to avoid honoring its obligations to prominent film, television, and commercial producer [Steve] Golin in connection with the upcoming film Adaline, featuring Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn, and Blake Lively,” says the breach of contract and Lakeshore-logo__130408224807-200x179unjust enrichment complaint Golin filed today by in LA Superior Court (read it here). Golin and his Overt Operations claim that he is owed “no less than $450,000 and no more than $1,000,000” under a Loanout Agreement with Lakeshore as well as a hefty backend on the pic. The talent and management company boss also says he had no idea about a section of the agreement that seems to give Lakeshore the right to can him as they did. Requesting a jury trial, Golin, who is an EP on HBO’s True Detective among his many credits, and his company are seeking unspecified damages, proper credit and a change in the agreement plus legal costs and the usual “for such other and further relief as the Court deems proper and just” in the 5-claim complaint. Read More »

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It’s Official: Harrison Ford Joins Lionsgate Pic ‘The Age Of Adaline’

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 11:55am PST

Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' Governors Awards - ArrivalsHarrison Ford has been set to co-star in Lionsgate‘s romantic drama The Age Of Adeline, joining Blake Lively and Ellen Burstyn in the cast. Shooting begins in March on the pic, from Sidney Kimmel and Lakeshore Entertainment. The deal reunites Ford, repped by UTA, with Lionsgate,  who teamed on November’s sci-fi pic Ender’s Game. Adeline centers on the life of 29-year-old Adaline (Lively), who stops aging after recovering from a near-fatal accident. Over the course of the 20th century she embarks on an epic but isolated worldwide journey, keeping her secret, until she meets a man who forever alters her life. Lee Toland Krieger is directing the original script by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz, which got later revisions by Allison Burnett.

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Hollywood Film Awards: Oscar Hopefuls Turn Out In Force But Does It Have Any Impact?

Pete Hammond

Nancy O’Dell, host for the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards on Monday night at the Beverly Hilton, looked across the impressive star-studded room and said, “This is just like the Oscars”. Uh, not exactly. It’s not just like the Golden Globes or The Critics Choice Awards either, but it’s become a pretty good warm-up act for all of them. ”We used to make fun of this show, but not so much anymore,” said one industry observer. In fact the cover of the slick program says it all: “First mandatory stop in the awards season”. And this brainchild of Carlos de Abreu, who is the arbiter and chief negotiator of who gets what, has really been growing. The studios seem to love it because they essentially get to dictate the winners and plant a flag for one film or another early in the season. No one takes the actual award too seriously, but getting the opportunity to be seen holding that award is another thing altogether.

In its early days, stars would come in the back of the Hilton, make an appearance onstage to accept an award and get a photo op, and then make a hasty retreat. Now, most of them stayed all night for the nearly three-and-a-half hour show, schmoozing, seeing old friends and subtly campaigning. One person at the Disney table where I was sitting (director Dan Scanlon won the Hollywood Animation Award for Pixar’s smash sequel Monsters University) put it succinctly, saying about the appeal of this show: “If they show up, it’s worth it. If they don’t show up, it’s not worth it”. They showed up.

And there was lots of high star-wattage in the room including various winners like Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford and Jared Leto, plus presenters like Sean Penn, Robert Downey Jr, Kanye West, Geoffrey Rush, Bruce Willis, Jennifer Garner, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jane Fonda, Forest Whitaker and others. Hollywood Song Award winner Chris Martin of Coldplay even performed his tune Atlas from the upcoming The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire, the first song the group has written for a film.

Studio heads like 20th Century Fox’s Jim Gianopulos, Warner Bros’ Kevin Tsujihara, Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley, Sony Pictures Classics’ Tom Bernard and Harvey Weinstein were also in the room for the show which has never been televised — but will be next year according to an announcement by O’Dell. Dick Clark Productions, which also produces the Globes,  has now got a stake in the event and plans to start exploiting it in 2014. Just how it will all play on TV is anybody’s guess when there are no nominees only winners, and most of the viewers will not have seen any of the movies rewarded on this very early mid-October Hollywood lovefest (hell, not many of the industry audience or even the presenters had seen most of the films yet). Read More »

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Pen Lit Awards Ignore Protesters, Honor ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, ‘Game Change’, Joan Didion, Kickstarter

By | Wednesday October 16, 2013 @ 12:33am PDT
Pete Hammond

Notes from Monday night’s 23rd annual Pen Center USA Literary Awards Festival:

These awards, handed out at a ritzy gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel, celebrate the “freedom to write” and generally honor books. But there were a few showbiz awards thrown in including the Screenplay honor to Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty and its television counterpart to Danny Strong for HBO’s Game Change. Kickstarter even got in on the game, winning the Award Of Honor. But the big news was happening out in front of the hotel as the Motion Picture Editors Guild followed through on threats reported on Deadline to protest the Freedom To Write award to Sonia Nassery Cole, director/co-writer/producer of Afghanistan’s 2010 Foreign Language Oscar entry The Black Tulip. Several members were there with signs claiming she stiffed them back pay for their work on the film. The protest didn’t seem to dampen the mood inside the ballroom (there was no acknowledgement of the dispute) as she won a hearty ovation when Oscar-nominated actress Shoreh Aghdashloo introduced her to receive the evening’s final award. Cole’s speech focused heavily on the fight for freedom and peace in Afghanistan, pointing out her time there was “Hell on Earth”. Her anti-Taliban book and film enabled her to fight against them, she said.”Freedom is something I have been fighting for my entire life, and for me freedom is not free. We have to fight for it every single day of our lives, especially when you go to a country like Afghanistan,” she said, although the protesters outside would probably say making a movie is “not free” either. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Ataru’ Dethrones ‘The Wind Rises’ In Japan; Peter Jackson Given Highest Kiwi Honor; More

After a nine-week streak, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises has slipped from the No. 1 spot at the Japanese box office. Ataru: The First Love & The Last Kill, an adaptation of a popular TV series, overtook the animation master’s final feature at the weekend, making over $3.5M. FilmBizAsia reports that it is only the second live-action TV adaptation to open at No. 1 this year. The Wind Rises fell to the No. 2 spot and now has a cume of $106.5M. Meanwhile, The Wolverine opened at No. 3 with $1.85M and Warner Japan’s remake of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven was No. 4 with $1.45M.

Peter Jackson was given New Zealand’s highest honor on Tuesday, becoming an Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand for services to the country. He also received the order’s insignia, the first time a film industry player has been given the badge. According to Stuff, only 20 members of the order can hold the badge and it must be returned by the recipient’s estate upon their death. “Obviously, it’s something I’m going to have to look after and I’m going to have to make sure my children know where to find it, but I do hope to hold on to it for quite a long time,” Jackson said. Read More »

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Harrison Ford In For ‘Expendables 3,’ Bruce Willis Out As Stallone Tweets “Greedy And Lazy” Jab

By | Tuesday August 6, 2013 @ 2:00pm PDT

Harrison Ford will join the brawny cast of Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables 3, Deadline has confirmed. Stallone announced the surprise casting news today – along with an apparent dig at Expendables & Expendables 2 cast member Bruce Willis. “WILLIS OUT… HARRISON FORD IN !!!! GREAT NEWS !!!!! Been waiting years for this!!!!” he Tweeted Tuesday. Stallone, who wrote and starred in the Expendables films in addition to helping nab the franchise’s line-up of ’80s and ’90s action stars, subtweeted five minutes later without naming the subject of his scorn: “GREEDY AND LAZY …… A SURE FORMULA FOR CAREER FAILURE.” Coincidence?

Willis had a cameo in the first action pic as Mr. Church and reprised the role with expanded screen time in the 2012 sequel. Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipes, Nicolas Cage and Milla Jovovich are among the new faces joining the franchise. Patrick Hughes is directing the threequel which Lionsgate has already set for an August 15, 2014, release. Ford is repped by UTA and next stars in Paranoia, which opens August 16, then Summit’s November 1 sci-fi adaptation Ender’s Game.

Related: ‘Expendables 3′ Woos Chan, Snipes, Cage, Jovovich

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CinemaCon: Lionsgate Aiming For Major Studio Status With ‘Hunger Games’ Sequel Leading 2013 Slate

Pete Hammond

After the six major studios wrapped up their turns in front of the CinemaCon convention goers with 20th Century Fox earlier today, it was Lionsgate‘s turn to carry the flag for the indie sector, even though NATO’s John Fithian said last year that in Lionsgate we are seeing the birth of the “seventh major studio”. And although some of the speakers during the company’s relatively brief presentation this afternoon took up that mantle, Lionsgate in its sizzle reel  actually touted the fact that they are the only non-major to actually go over $1 billion in a single year — certainly thanks to the dynamic duo of Summit’s Twilight finales and The Hunger Games, which became the third-highest-grossing film of 2012 with more than $400 million domestically. So are they are a major? A mini-major? A true independent? Or just a money-minting film company with a couple of franchises the real majors would kill for (and in the case of Twilight actually passed on — ouch).

But as befits any wannabe major, a spiffier, more corporate logo was in order, and as Deadline reported earlier they debuted it for the theatre owners here in Las Vegas. As distribution head Richie Fay put it during his turn onstage, “Lionsgate is an overnight success that was 12 years in the making”.

As far as the presentation went, Lionsgate certainly took an independent route from the way the majors have behaved all week, offering a musical-chairs lineup of executives taking their turn in front of delegates who crowded into the Colosseum to check out the product. In addition to Fay, we also heard from CEO and co-founder Jon Feltheimer, co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Rob Friedman and AMC theatres exec Elizabeth Frank, who pointed out the company released 20 major films in 2012 and led the field 11 separate weeks. She said her company was looking forward to the 17 movies on tap this year and many of them were showcased for the first time over the course of the 80-minute show emceed by comedian Kevin Hart. Read More »

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Harrison Ford Warming Up For Han Solo?: Video

By | Thursday April 18, 2013 @ 8:54am PDT

This Jimmy Kimmel Live! bit with an Star Wars buddy might just find its way into JJ Abrams’ pile of audition tapes for Episode VII. Ford appears to still have his Han Solo chops (and sense of humor), though the same can’t be said for Chewy. Check out last night’s appearance:

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Jackie Robinson Biopic ’42′ Screening At White House Tonight; Harrison Ford & Thomas Tull In Attendance

By | Tuesday April 2, 2013 @ 9:55am PDT

Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros’ story of the man who broke pro baseball’s color barrier is headed to the White House. President Obama will host the producers, crew and stars of 42  for a screening at 5:35 PM ET in the Executive Mansion’s Private Theatre. Legendary boss Thomas Tull, director Brian Helgeland, and stars Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman will be in attendance. Boseman plays Jackie Robinson in the film, which tells his life story and of his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Ford plays Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson will also be at the screening tonight. Robinson, Tull and the cast joined First Lady Michelle Obama earlier today at an interactive student workshop at the White House looking at the legacy of the legendary ballplayer. 42 opens April 12. Read More »

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Indiana Jones To Visit U.S. Congress Tuesday

By | Monday March 18, 2013 @ 11:43pm PDT

Usually Congressional Republicans diss Hollywood during campaigns. Unless they can use film celebrities to promote their causes. So Missouri Republican Congressman Sam Graves is publicizing the fact that no less than Indiana Jones himself, longtime pilot Harrison Ford, will join members of the U.S. House General Aviation Caucus on Tuesday to discuss “issues of importance to the general aviation community”. Ford in 2011 visited the Senate General Aviation Caucus to do the same thing. “I’m pleased to welcome Harrison Ford to tomorrow’s discussion, and look forward to hearing his thoughts on the timely issues of importance to America’s pilots,” Graves, a co-chair of the caucus, said in a release. “The biggest challenge for general aviation is getting our message to all 435 lawmakers, and events like this provide a megaphone to promote general aviation while also helping expand the caucus’ membership.”

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Should We Be Excited That Carrie Fisher Is In ‘Star Wars’ Mode?

By | Wednesday March 6, 2013 @ 8:07am PST
Mike Fleming

My kids constantly bring up a quote they attribute to Benjamin Franklin, which is, roughly, “don’t believe everything you read on the internet.” I continue to be less than dazzled about the casting progress made so far on a relaunch of Star Wars, web reports continue to have me concerned and underwhelmed about the picture that JJ Abrams is putting together over there at Disney.

First, we have rumors that Harrison Ford will sign a three-picture deal to return to the new Star Wars films that JJ Abrams is putting together. Now, in a magazine called Palm Beach Illustrated, we have Carrie Fisher confirming on the record that she will bring back Princess Leia. The other thing she does is confirm what we are all thinking when asked what Princess Leia is like today. “Elderly,” she said jokingly. “She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home.” Fisher long ago moved on to become a successful script doctor and author, and this feels to me a bit like Sally Field returning for one more installment of Gidget.

Even though George Lucas came as close as humanly possible to running Star Wars into the ground with that prequel trilogy and the unsuccessful attempt to launch all six pictures as 3D conversions before selling the whole thing to Disney, JJ Abrams is two for two in fixing franchises, after working with Tom Cruise as producers to relaunch Mission: Impossible with Ghost Protocol, and in the … Read More »

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Julian McMahon Gets ‘Paranoia’

By | Wednesday June 20, 2012 @ 9:23am PDT
Mike Fleming

Nip/Tuck star Julian McMahon is joining the cast of Paranoia, the Robert Luketic-directed adaptation of the Joseph Finder novel, with IM Global controlling international distribution territories and Relativity Media releasing in the U.S. He’ll play the role of Meechum. Already set are Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, and Amber Heard. McMahon was last seen in Red. He’s repped by WME and ROAR. In Paranoia, a boss blackmails his young employee to spy on a rival company. Alexandra Milchan of Emjag Prods., Scott Lambert of Film 360 and Deepak Nayar are producing. IM Global and Reliance are financing the film.

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