Max Martini has closed a deal for Legendary Pictures‘ supernatural thriller Spectral, which stars James Badge Dale and is being directed by Nic Matthieu. The original treatment for the pic, which Legendary is calling “a supernatural Black Hawk Down,” was purchased from Ian Fried. The script was penned by George Nolfi with a rewrite by John Gatins. Martini, whose credits include Captain Phillips, Saving Private Ryan, Sabotage and Pacific Rim, is next up in Focus Features’ Fifty Shades Of Grey. He is repped by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content.
James Badge Dale is in negotiations to star in Spectral, which Legendary describes as a “supernatural Black Hawk Down“. Nic Matthieu will direct the thriller, which was written by George Nolfi with a rewrite by John Gatins. The original treatment was acquired from Ian Fried. Dale, whose credits include World War Z, Iron Man 3 and The Lone Ranger, next will be seen in Miss Meadows and Stretch. He is repped by CAA, MJ Management, and attorney Geoff Oblath.
Luke Goss is set to make his directorial debut with the action thriller Your Move. He also wrote and will star in the film as a successful New York businessman who witnesses an attack on his wife and child while on a video call with them then embarks on a journey to find and avenge his family. Triumphant Pictures and ArtProd will produce alongside G Productions. Goss’ upcoming acting credits include AWOL 72 and The Night Crew. He is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment and DW Management in the UK.
EXCLUSIVE: James Badge Dale will be joining Cate Blanchett in writer-director David Mamet‘s thriller Blackbird. Dale plays a military major who is trying to discover the truth about the political secrets of a woman’s grandfather who worked for the U.S. special ops during the 1960s. Currently, Dale is performing in the off-Broadway play Small Engine Repair and recently completed filming three pictures: Universal’s Stretch directed by Joe Carnahan (they previously teamed on The Grey), Miss Meadows opposite Katie Holmes, and the Civil War drama Relative Stranger. He’s repped by CAA, MJ Management and attorney Geoff Oblath.
James Badge Dale will play Savin, a villain in Iron Man 3. Robert Downey Jr stars and Shane Black is directing. Badge Dale just finished The Lone Ranger for Disney, and will next be seen in the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight with Denzel Washington and World War Z with Brad Pitt. Marvel Studios gets underway with the film later this month. Ben Kinsgley has been rumored as The Mandarin, and Gwyneth Paltrow and Rebecca Hall are also in the film. Badge Dale is repped by CAA and MJ Management.
EXCLUSIVE: James Badge Dale is frontrunner to join The Lone Ranger, playing the older brother of the title character (played by Armie Hammer). Dan Reid is an ex-ranger and hero of the Old West. Disney puts the film into production next month, with Gore Verbinski directing Johnny Depp, Hammer, Ruth Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, and Dwight Yoakum. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing.
Dale, who co-starred in Shame, next opens in the Joe Carnahan-directed The Grey, and wrapped the Marc Forster-directed World War Z and the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight. The Lone Ranger job will knock Dale out of the short list to play John McClane Jr. in A Good Day to Die Hard. I’ve heard that Fox will widen the search for that character in the John Moore-directed film. Dale is repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: In the young actor category, a role to die for is John McClane Jr, the son of Bruce Willis’ indestructible cop character in A Good Day To Die Hard, which John Moore will direct in Russia early next year for 20th Century Fox.
I’m told the studio, Moore and Willis are down to these four actors for the role: Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth; Emmy-winning Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul (scheduling on his series could pose a problem); The Pacific star James Badge Dale; and D.J. Cotrona, who was a regular in the series Detroit 1-8-7 and is currently shooting G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation. The studio would not comment.
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road is in the final stages of acquiring U.S. rights to Joe Carnahan’s The Grey, and it’s shaping up to be a whopper of a deal. The numbers I’m hearing are in the $8 million minimum guarantee range, with a $25 million P&A commitment and a gross corridor built in. Deadline told you Wednesday there was heat on the finished film as CAA was showing a 30-minute reel to buyers all week. The film is about an oil-drilling team struggling to survive in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes smack in the middle of a territorial rogue wolf pack, with Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Nonso Anozie and Joe Anderson starring. Scott Free’s Jules Daly produced the film with Mickey Liddell. I’d heard that Warner Bros, Open Road, Summit, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company and FilmDistrict were all in the mix.
Nobody was confirming, and Open Road chief Tom Ortenberg didn’t return a text and a call, but the deal could be sealed by this evening. It gives Open Road a major film for its inaugural slate after being launched earlier this year by theater chains AMC and Regal. Ortenberg has been in the mix on numerous high-profile films shopped for acquisition, and Open Road also acquired The Host, the Andrew Niccol-directed adaptation of the novel by Twilight Saga’s Stephenie Meyer that will star Saoirse Ronan. The film …
EXCLUSIVE: Based on a 30-minute reel being shown to distributors as we speak, bidding is getting hot and heavy on The Grey, the Joe Carnahan-directed drama about an oil-drilling team struggling to survive in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes smack in the middle of a territorial rogue wolf pack. Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Nonso Anozie and Joe Anderson star in the film. CAA is shopping the Scott Free-produced pic, and I’ve heard that Warner Bros, Open Road, Summit, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company and FilmDistrict are all in the mix.
The movie’s had heat on it since CAA showed a three-minute reel right after the Cannes Film Festival. The ask is in the $8 million range minimum guarantee and a release upwards of 3000 screens and the deal will certainly be in the seven-figures based on what I’ve heard about the footage. But the bidding is complicated by one thing: the filmmakers are insisting that The Grey be released later this year. It makes sense for a cold-weather film that has a Neeson performance that could be in the Oscar mix. And the film is ready to build buzz that starts with festivals like Toronto. The complication is, several of the distributors have crowded late-year release schedules. This could give an edge to a distributor like Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road, which is looking for exactly this kind of wide-release film.
EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Fox and Ed Harris are in talks to join Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale in the Marc Forster-directed World War Z for Paramount and Skydance Productions. Forster has also set Julia Levy-Boeken, the French actress who stars in the Israeli series alufa Ha. The film is an adaptation of the Max Brooks novel that looks back on a global zombie infestation 10 years after the fact. Fox, who just wrapped a West End stage turn in the Neil LaBute play In a Forest Dark and Deep, is separately slated to play a vicious serial killer opposite Tyler Perry in the Rob Cohen-directed I, Alex Cross for Summit Entertainment, with production starting in August. Harris just starred in the Asger Leth-directed Man on a Ledge for Summit. Fox is repped by WME and Management 360, Harris by CAA and Levy-Boeken by Weiner Management.
Michael Ealy has been set to play the male lead alongside Kate Beckinsale in the fourth installment of the Underworld franchise for Screen Gems and Lakeshore. He will play a police detective who hunts the vampiress and ultimately teams up with her. Ealy, repped by Gersh and Epidemic Management, most recently played a soldier who returned from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder in the Tyler Perry-directed For Colored Girls, and he worked for Screen Gems in Takers. Underworld 3D just got under way in Vancouver, directed by Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein from a script by J. Michael Straczynski and John Hlavin, a co-production between Lakeshore and Screen Gems. …
Robin McLeavy has been set to play the role of Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox. The role is brief but sets the tone for the action. It’s her death at the hands of a bloodsucker that hardens young Abe Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) into going to war against the growing scourge of vampires in the 1800s. The Australian actress, who just signed with UTA, is also repped by Wishlab and Shanahans in Australia. She played Stella opposite Cate Blanchett’s Blanche in the Liv Ullmann-directed revival of A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway. …
Director Joe Carnahan has gotten a green light to start production next week on The Grey, a thriller that stars Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo (Warrior), Nonso Anozie, and Joe Anderson. They play oil-rig roughnecks left stranded by a plane crash right in the hunting zone of a pack of rogue wolves on the frozen Alaskan tundra. Coming off the Fox film The A-Team, Carnahan said he was glad to be making a down and dirty indie, even though the locations in Vancouver in the Northern British Columbia region are numbingly cold. “It gets to be 30 below, and when we went out the other day, I took off my hat to see how long I could last, and my skin was burning with frostbite in a little over a minute,” Carnahan told me. “In a way, it’s great, because it beats the shit out of the cast and that suits the storyline.” He said cold and an indie budget leads to a quick-paced shoot with an economy of takes, in a planned 40-day shoot. “I haven’t had a situation like this since Narc, where there’s no distributor, but you get to make the movie you want to, staying as light on your feet as you can.” Though he was outspoken about his problems how The A-Team was sold, Carnahan said the experience was mostly positive, “but stressful when it is all about shooting …