WWE Studios and Anchor Bay Films have set Road To Paloma for a release in L.A. on July 11, before coming out on-demand and on DVD July 15. The film marks the directing debut of Jason Momoa, who starred in the first season of HBO’s Game Of Thrones and played the slave-turned-king in Conan The Barbarian. He stars as Wolf, a Native American on the run after avenging his mother’s murder. As he flees across the desolate American West on his motorcycle, he’ll discover that justice has a cost – Wolf’s search for redemption will reveal secrets and take him on a journey where the roads have some very unexpected turns. His wife, Lisa Bonet, also stars in a cast that also includes Wes Studi. Momoa wrote it with Robert Homer Mollohan and Jonathan Hirschbein, and Momoa co-produced with Brian Andrew Mendoza. I met Momoa at a dinner during the Sundance Film Festival held by WWE Studios’ Michael Luisi and found him to be engaging and quite serious about his directing ambitions. I was prepped for this after interviewing the Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and after asking them who did they miss most of all the cast members they killed off, both said in unison, “Boy, do we miss Momoa.” He lives in Hawaii and planned to tap that lineage for a historical-based film that took place there, and the idea was …
Cary Elwes, Jason Momoa, Drew Roy, Haley Webb and Shane Coffey have been cast in the dark comedy/thriller Sugar Mountain, an indie feature from Yellow Brick Films to be directed by Richard Gray. With the actors set production is now on track to start soon in Alaska. The pic centers on two down-on-their-luck brothers who fake a disappearance in the wilderness so they’ll have a great survival story to sell. But the hoax turns out to be more real than they planned. Grey’s Yellow Brick is also behind The Lookalike, the crime-romance drama starring Justin Long, John Corbett and Gillian Jacobs that Well Go USA picked up last fall at AFM for a summer release.
EXCLUSIVE: Ketchup Entertainment today acquired U.S. distribution rights on Wolves, the action thriller that marks the feature directorial debut of X-Men and Watchmen scribe David Hayter. Written by Hayter, the film stars X-Men: First Class‘ Lucas Till, Watchmen‘s Stephen McHattie, and Game Of Thrones‘ Jason Momoa. Copperheart Entertainment’s Steve Hoban produced with makeup effects by Oscar-winning creature designers Dave Elsey and Lou Elsey. Till plays a high school student who witnesses the brutal murder of his parents, and finds himself turning into a savage wolf. He is thrust between two warring wolf packs fighting for control of Lupine Ridge. Merritt Patterson and John Pyper-Ferguson round out the cast. The film will be released this summer.
Said Ketchup CEO Gareth West: “From the first time we saw Wolves, we knew audiences would be swept up in the exciting action and powerful storytelling. Wolves is a great addition to the Ketchup slate.” Said Hayter: “My producers and I have worked for years to make Wolves something special and unique, and I am confident that we have found committed partners who share that vision.”
The film was funded by Copperheart Entertainment, TF1 International and Telefilm Canada. Ketchup’s West and acquisitions head Stephen Stanley negotiated with UTA Independent Film Group and exec producer Benedict Carver on the deal. Ketchup’s recent acquisitions include the Pierce Brosnan-Emma Thompson comedy Love Punch, the Paul …
TCA: Sundance’s ‘The Red Road’ Creator Aaron Guzikowski Defends Affability; Star Martin Henderson Defends New Zealand Birthplace
Aaron Guzikowski is probably used to critics wondering “what kind of sick, twisted mind” (LAT) could dream up his dark, psychological thrillers, like Prisoners and Sundance’s new drama series The Red Road.
“You’re an affable guy” one TV critic noted with surprise this morning Guzikowski came to Winter TV Press Tour 2014 to talk about the Sundance project debuting February 27. The critic wondered how such an affable guy could “relish your darker side” and asked him to speak about this “passion.”
“For darkness? I came from a pretty happy upbringing, but my mother was obsessed with horror novels and my father with science fiction,” he responded, affably. “Horror and darkness always felt comfortable to me — an escape from the banalities of things that drag me down. There’s something kind of beautiful about it.”
EXCLUSIVE: WWE Studios and Anchor Bay Films has acquired distribution rights in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia/New Zealand to Road To Paloma, the directorial debut of Jason Momoa. Momoa played the title role in Conan The Barbarian, and was last seen playing Khal Drogo in HBO’s Game Of Thrones. Road To Paloma will be released in the U.S. later this year. It was financed and produced by Boss-Media’s Eric Gores and Frank Mancuso Jr., who are exec producers. Pic is produced by Momoa and Brian Andrew Mendoza’s Pride of Gypsies with Jamey Pryde serving as executive producer. Robert Homer Mollohan co-wrote the film with Jonathan Hirschbein and Momoa.
In Road To Paloma, Momoa stars as Robert Wolf, a Native American, who is being hotly pursued by the FBI for taking the law into his own hands after thugs rape and kill his mother on their reservation. Wolf crosses paths with Cash (Mollohan), a down and out musician, and an unlikely bond is formed as they motorcycle across the vast highways of the American West in search of redemption.
Momoa is currently starring in The Red Road, a scripted series for The Sundance Channel. He seems like a pretty decent guy; when I interviewed Game Of Thrones exec producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, they said that while they have become accustomed to routinely killing their cast, the guy that was hardest was Drogo, because …
Jason Momoa, who toplined 2011′s Conan reboot and appeared on HBO’s Game Of Thrones, has been cast in Sundance Channel‘s second original scripted series The Red Road. The project, formerly known as The Descendants, has a straight-to-series six-episode order. It’s described as a hard-hitting drama that revolves around Harold Jensen, a sheriff struggling to keep his family together while simultaneously policing two clashing communities: the small town where he grew up and the neighboring Ramapo Mountains, home of the Ramapo Mountain Indians. Momoa will play Indian ex-con Phillip Kopus. Julianne Nicholson had already been cast as the female lead. Writer Aaron Guzikowski and Sarah Condon are exec producing and Bridget Carpenter will serve as executive producer/showrunner. The first Sundance original series, Rectify, has been a critical success and returns for a second season next year.
Fresh from a strong opening on The Expendables 2, Sly Stallone is the headliner in another action film, this one Bullet To The Head. It’s directed by action specialist Walter Hill and pits Stallone against a killer played by Conan the Barbarian’s Jason Momoa. Here’s the trailer:
Lionsgate execs today are despondent as they try to figure out what went wrong for Conan The Barbarian to only earn a dismal $10.5M from 3,015 theaters. “It’s one of those weekends that gives me a stomach ache,” one Lionsgate exec told me Friday night. “It’s a headscratcher, but it won’t kill us.” But they also know that with Carl Icahn back breathing down Lionsgate’s mane by buying up company shares, and the annual stockholders meeting scheduled for Sept. 13, this is a really lousy time for this secondary studio to have such a box office bomb. Over the last two weeks, Icahn has acquired 756,840 shares in Lionsgate, growing his ownership to 33.2% from 32.6%, presumably in his so-far-unsuccessful effort to gift his son Brent with a Hollywood studio. Last year, Icahn tried but failed to seize control and, after a brief respite, he’s trying yet again, all the while carping about Lionsgate’s profligate management and moviemaking strategy. Here’s more ammunition for him. First off, being in business with Avi Lerner’s Nu Image/Millennium film company is a dicey proposition at best. Especially when this reboot cost nearly $90M, which makes this weekend’s opening disastrous even if Lionsgate’s exposure was mitigated by the co-production and co-release. Not even spreading the buzz that previous Conan the Barbarian Arnold Schwarzenegger was treated to a private screening and “really liked it” helped box office, which didn’t come near to even Lionsgate’s low-ball expectation of $15M from a wide release.
A new trailer is up for Conan the Barbarian, the reboot of the Robert E. Howard hero that has Jason Momoa replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film franchise that first established Arnie as action-hero material. Momoa has become a formidable and intimidating presence on HBO’s terrific Game of Thrones series, in small doses. Does he have what it takes to rebirth a franchise?
One of the trailers attached to Battle: Los Angeles in theaters over the weekend was the remake of Conan the Barbarian, the film that marks the biggest bet yet made by Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films. There was a whole lot of back and forth on who might play the role that launched Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film career, and Jason Momoa at least looks the part. Conan will be released by Lionsgate in August.
EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios has hired Conan scribes Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to write Dr. Strange, marking forward progress on a long-gestating superhero property which will likely be among the first Marvel films generated under the Disney banner. Aside from Conan–the Marcus Nispel-directed Lionsgate film that stars Jason Momoa–Donnelly and Oppenheimer also scripted a live action adaptation of the vidgame Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for Sony and producer Chuck Roven, and they wrote a draft of the Jon Favreau-directed Cowboys and Aliens for DreamWorks/Universal.
Originated in 1963 by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Dr. Strange was a self-centered New York surgeon robbed of his touch after a car accident. After a stint as a wandering derelict, he found his way to a healer in the Himalayas, where he learned to tap into psychic powers to battle evil wizards and other wrongdoers. His mind is his weapon, rather than the brute force that distinguish most memorable Marvel heroes.
Dr. Strange has had a long strange journey to the screen that included stints at Savoy Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Dimension Films and Paramount–with a parade of writers and directors that included Bob Gale, Wes Craven, David Goyer, Stephen Norrington and Guillermo del Toro. Marvel finally got the rights and brought the property back into the fold.
Marvel Studios has four more films committed to be distributed through Paramount (including Iron-Man 3). Those will include Thor and The First Avenger: Captain America, with the last to likely be …