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Jason Statham Eyes J.J. Connolly’s ‘Layer Cake’ Follow-Up ‘Viva La Madness’

By | Monday November 11, 2013 @ 12:11pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Statham and his manager and producing partner Steve Chasman have acquired rights to the J.J. Connolly novel Viva La Madness. That is Connolly’s follow-up novel to Layer Cake. Just as he did with the the Matthew Vaughn-directed film that starred Daniel Craig, Connolly again is turning his novel into a script. Connolly never names his chief protagonist anti-hero, but Statham will play the same nameless character we last saw trying to survive a gunshot wound in Layer Cake. It took Connolly more than a decade to follow that tale. Here, his protagonist is looking for a beach to land on in retirement, but instead he gets involved with trans-Atlantic drug deals, money laundering, high-tech electronic fraud, London lowlifes and Venezuelan drug cartels.

Statham and Chasman will test the idea that a protagonist can play the same character in different movies, the way that everyone from from Mel Gibson to Lee Marvin, Jim Brown, Robert Duvall and even Statham played the Parker character from the Donald E. Westlake novels. Anything that gets Statham back in British crime caper mode like his showcase roles in the Guy Ritchie movies Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch sounds good to me. Connolly just scripted the heist feature H for Ritchie and partner Lionel Wigram. Read More »

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Jason Statham Eyes Spy Role With Melissa McCarthy In Fox Comedy ‘Susan Cooper’

By | Monday October 21, 2013 @ 3:45pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Statham has been working up a storm in serious films, but he’s taking time to go back to the comic roots that launched his career with Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. I’m told that Statham has met with director Paul Feig and that talks will start soon for him to join Melissa McCarthy in Fox‘s Susan Cooper. That comedy, which puts Feig and McCarthy back together after they did the hits Bridesmaids and The Heat, casts her as an unlikely secret agent. Statham will play a spy on the same side, if the deal makes. He’ll next be seen with James Franco in Homefront, and he just wrapped The Expendables 3. Statham is just beginning work on The Fast & The Furious 7. He’s repped by CAA and managed by Steve Chasman.

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Hot Trailer: Sly Stallone-Penned ‘Homefront’ Red Band

By | Friday October 18, 2013 @ 4:25pm PDT

Open Road’s Homefront stars James Franco and Jason Statham from a script by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Sylvester Stallone. The Gary Fleder-directed action thriller follows a widowed ex-fed who moves his daughter to a small town to start rebuilding. Nice idea, anyway. It opens just in time for Thanksgiving. Here’s the red band trailer, complete with gunshots to the face, impalings, explosions and more f-bombs than Madonna on Letterman. If you like your job, keep the volume down:

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Hot Trailer: Sly Stallone-Penned ‘Homefront’

By | Thursday September 12, 2013 @ 12:23pm PDT

Homefront stars Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo. Gary Fleder directed Sylvester Stallone’s adaptation based on the book by Chuck Logan. Statham plays a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter. The only problem is he picked the wrong town. Open Road Films acquired the Millennium Films pic in June and has set a November 27 release date. Here’s the trailer:

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Open Road Shifts ‘Machete Kills’ To October 4; ‘Homefront’ To November 27

By | Thursday June 20, 2013 @ 10:18am PDT
Mike Fleming

Open Road has shifted two of its upcoming releases: the Robert Rodriguez-directed Danny Trejo-starrer Machete Kills is moving to October 4 from its earlier September 13 perch, and the Jason Statham and James Franco-starrer Homefront moves to November 27 from its previously announced October 4 date. Machete Kills stars Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demián Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson. Trejo returns as the blade-happy ex-Federale agent, who this time is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man – he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. I believe Gibson plays the anarchist.  Script is by Kyle Ward based on a story by Marcel and Robert Rodriguez, latter of whom produces with Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic through their QuickDraw Productions banner, as well as Sergei Bespalov of Aldamisa Films, Alexander Rodnyansky of AR Films, and Rick Schwartz of Overnight Films.

The Gary Fleder-directed Homefront stars Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo, with a script by Sylvester Stallone, based on the book by Chuck Logan. Statham plays a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter. The only … Read More »

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Open Road Buys U.S. Rights To ‘Homefront’; Jason Statham, James Franco Star

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films and Endgame Releasing have acquired U.S. rights to Homefront, the Millennium Films-produced action thriller that Gary Fleder directed with Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo. The script was written by Sylvester Stallone based on Chuck Logan’s book. Open Road will release the film wide October 4 in a deal sealed by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg, Endgame CEO James Stern, and Millennium Films chairman Avi Lerner.

The action film focuses on a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter. He didn’t choose the town well. Stallone is producing with Kevin King Templeton and John Thompson. Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, and Mark Gill are exec producing. Stallone co-wrote the first two installments of The Expendables for Millennium. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Jason Statham In ‘Hummingbird’

By | Friday March 22, 2013 @ 9:58pm PDT

Here’s a trailer from Yahoo UK for Hummingbird which Lionsgate is distributing in the U.S. and UK. Written and directed by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises), it features Jason Statham as a haunted former soldier who assumes the identity of an upper class Londoner. When his girlfriend is murdered, he’s forced to confront his past as he hunts down those responsible.

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AFM: Simon West To Helm Remake Of Burt Reynolds Pic ‘Heat’ With Jason Statham

By | Thursday November 1, 2012 @ 11:09am PDT

Simon West has signed on to direct the remake of the 1987 Burt Reynolds movie Heat. The Expendables 2 director replaces Brian De Palma on the remake of the action film. Jason Statham, whom West directed in 2011′s The Mechanic, stars in the enforcer role that Reynolds played in the original. The screenplay is from William Goldman, who wrote the 1987 script from his novel. Steven Chasman will produce for SJ Pictures alongside Statham. Quad Films, whose credits include The Intouchables  and Heart Breaker, are a co-producer on the film. Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales and has already made deals at AFM in territories including the UK, China, South America, Germany and Japan. Heat will start principal photography in February. West is repped by CAA.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Parker’

By | Thursday October 4, 2012 @ 11:33am PDT

Here’s the official trailer for Jason Statham’s newest action pic Parker also starring Jennifer Lopez and Michael Chiklis. Statham plays Parker, a vengeful but honorable thief who never steals from those who need it. The film is directed by Taylor Hackford, John J. McLaughlin penned the screenplay. It’s set for release on January 25, 2013.

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Lionsgate Acquires Steven Knight-Directed ‘Hummingbird’ With Jason Statham

By | Friday March 9, 2012 @ 7:48am PST
Mike Fleming

Lionsgate acquired U.S. and U.K. distribution rights to IM Global’s Hummingbird, the directorial debut of Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight. Jason Statham starts work Monday in the lead role. Paul Webster produces. Statham plays a former soldier haunted by a tragic past who assumes the identity of an upper class Londoner. But when his girlfriend is found dead, he can no longer hide from his past as he hunts down the perpetrators.

Lionsgate is releasing Safe, IM Global’s actioner starring Statham and directed by Boaz Yakin. The film will be released in the U.S. on April 27.

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Jason Statham To Star In Brian De Palma-Directed Re-Heated Burt Reynolds Film ‘Heat:’ Berlin

By | Wednesday February 8, 2012 @ 8:26am PST
Mike Fleming

Jason Statham will star in Heat, a remake of the 1987 Burt Reynolds film that Brian De Palma will direct from a script by the great scribe William Goldman. Goldman who wrote the original script from his novel. Statham plays the recovering gambling addict who makes his living providing protection on the rough edges of the gambling world. When a female friend is beaten by a high-rolling mobster, the enforcer kicks some ass and gets in over his head. Sierra/Affinity will sell in Berlin. When I first got this release, I thought they were remaking the Michael Mann classic Heat, which would have been a travesty. This sounds okay. Statham stars in the Taylor Hackford-directed Parker, also financed by Sierra/Affinity. Steve Chasman and Statham are producing the re-heated Heat, which shoots in France by year’s end.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Safe’

By | Friday November 11, 2011 @ 12:33am PST

Jason Statham plays yet another bad-ass good-guy in Safe. This time he’s protecting Mei (Catherine Chan), a 12-year-old numerical prodigy who has in her head a code the Triads, Russian Mafia and corrupt cops are determined to get. Boaz Yakin wrote and directed the Lionsgate release that opens March 2, 2012.

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AFM: IM Global Launches Jason Statham-Starrer ‘Hummingbird’

By | Wednesday November 2, 2011 @ 11:12am PDT
Mike Fleming

IM Global will fully fund Hummingbird, an action drama that will mark the directing debut of Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight. Jason Statham will play a damaged ex-Special Forces soldier trapped in London’s criminal underworld, but he becomes an avenging angel when he is able to assume another identity. Shooting will begin in London early next year. Paul Webster and Tracey Seaward are producing. The film is budgeted at $20 million. “We had a great experience making Safe with Jason and we’re excited to team him with a director/producer team as sophisticated as Steven, Paul and Tracey,” said IM Global CEO Stuart Ford. The film has already sold in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Australia.

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Nick Nolte Joins ‘Gangster Squad’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Nick Nolte continues his recent career resurgence. He’s been set to join the cast of the Ruben Fleischer-directed Warner Bros drama Gangster Squad. Nolte will play Bill Parker, the new chief of police in Los Angeles, and the first in a awhile who hasn’t been corrupted by Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). The chief, a Purple Heart recipient at Normandy, is the one who starts the Gangster Squad, a crack team designed to bring down organized crime. Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Mireille Enos and Anthony Mackie star.

Nolte stars in the Gavin O’Connor-directed Warrior, and he just wrapped the Taylor Hackford-directed action film Parker for FilmDistrict opposite Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Chiklis. Nolte is about to begin work on the Robert Redford-directed The Company You Keep opposite Redford and Shia LaBeouf, and he also stars with Dustin Hoffman in the David Milch/Michael Mann HBO series Luck.

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Toronto Taps David Hare’s ‘Page Eight’ As Closer, Bulks Up Slate With Gala Starpower

Mike Fleming

The 2011 Toronto Film Festival has selected David Hare’s spy drama Page Eight, starring Bill Nighy, Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, as its closing-night film and added a slew of Gala premieres and Special Presentations that boost the star wattage with the likes of Robert De Niro, Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, James Gandolfini and Gerard Butler. The additions to the previously announced film slate includes a Future Projects lineup that features James Franco and Gus Van Sant reminiscing about My Own Private Idaho, a documentary about Exit through the Gift Shop‘s Mr. Brainwash (Thierry Guetta), and Peter Lynch’s Buffalo Days; and a Wavelengths program of international experimental films. Here is the release about the additional Galas and Special Presentations:

Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® announces the addition of 8 Galas and 17 Special Presentations to the high-calibre selection of crowd-pleasers premiering in September. Today’s announcement includes 14 World Premieres and reveals that Festival-goers will be treated to a programming lineup featuring world premieres from directors including Nick Murphy, Gary McKendry, Joel Schumacher, Gianni Amelio, Agnieszka Holland, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Pankaj Kapur, Anne Fontaine, Mathieu Kassovitz and Geoffrey Fletcher. The films unveiled today feature onscreen appearances by Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen, Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Gerard Butler, Ralph Fiennes, Imelda Staunton, Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Deneuve, Shahid Kapur, Isabelle Huppert, Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel and James Gandolfini, among others.

This announcement brings the final number of Galas to 20, and the final number of Special Presentations to 67.

GALAS
Closing Night Film
Page Eight
David Hare, United Kingdom International Premiere
Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving M15 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the stability of the organization. Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny’s striking next-door neighbour and political activist Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) seems too good to be true. Set in London and Cambridge, Page Eight is a contemporary spy film which addresses intelligence issues and moral dilemmas peculiar to the new century. Also stars Ralph Fiennes and Judy Davis.

Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Killer Elite’

By | Thursday August 4, 2011 @ 1:12pm PDT

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Michael Chiklis Is The Bad Guy In ‘Parker’

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Chiklis has signed on to play Jason Statham’s nemesis in Parker, the Taylor Hackford-directed thriller based on the Donald E. Westlake novel series that will be distributed by FilmDistrict. Production on the film begins in August in New Orleans. Jennifer Lopez is in talks to play the female lead. Casting up quickly, the movie was a prominent sales title during the Cannes Film Festival, where Sierra/Affinity’s Nick Meyer sold the rights. Chiklis is repped by WME and Management 360.

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FilmDistrict Near U.S. Distribution Deal For Ryan Gosling-Nic Refn ‘Only God Forgives’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In a low-seven-figure minimum guarantee deal, FilmDistrict has acquired U.S. rights to Only God Forgives, a drama that will reteam Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn with Ryan Gosling. Several distributors were in the mix, but FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel had an edge because Refn was pleased with the way FilmDistrict’s Bob Berney has set up the marketing for Drive. That film, which stars Gosling as a stunt driver who moonlights as the wheel man for a heist crew, played the Cannes Film Festival and drew raves. It will be released Sept. 16. Funded by Wild Bunch, Only God Forgives will shoot in late summer in Thailand, with Gosling playing a guy on the run from British police. He runs a Thai boxing club in Bangkok that is a front for a drug-smuggling operation. He winds up getting in the ring for a shot at redemption. Buyers this week read a script and started making offers this week. Gosling is next starring for his Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance in A Place Beyond the Pines and he’s also starring with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Anthony Mackie in the Ruben Fleischer-directed Gangster Squad for Warner Bros. He’s also set to star for Refn in a remake of Logan’s Run at Warner Bros, where he’ll next be seen starring with Steve Carell and Julianne Moore in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

It is another … Read More »

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Open Road Makes Netflix Deal

Mike Fleming

Well, now we know that Open Road is for real. The upstart distribution company run by Tom Ortenberg and funded by theater chains Regal and AMC have made a streaming deal with Netflix that will begin with its first film, Killler Elite, with Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert De Niro. Here’s the announcement:

Los Angeles, CA, June 28, 2011 – Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Open Road Films today announced a multi-year agreement to bring movies distributed theatrically by Open Road Films exclusively to Netflix for digital streaming in the “pay TV window,” after their release on DVD. The deal will allow Netflix members to instantly watch OpenRoad Films titles on various devices streaming from Netflix.

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