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Cannes Briefs: Magnolia Boards ‘Bone Tomahawk’, Mongrel Buys ‘Blue’ Competition Film; ‘Badges Of Fury’ Sales; Stealth Indie Adds Pics; More

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Magnolia Pictures has boarded Bone Tomahawk, the horror Western from S. Craig Zahler starring Kurt Russell, Peter Sarsgaard, Jennifer Carpenter and Timothy Olyphant. Magnolia parent 2929 Entertainment has come on board to fully finance the project, which begins shooting in August in Utah and which the uConnect-Celluloid Dreams combo has been selling at Cannes. Caliber Media Co.’s Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller and Floren/ShiehProductions’ Aimee Shieh and Clay Floren produce alongside 2929’s Ben Cosgrove and Shay Weiner. Constantin has taken rights for German-speaking Europe and the film has presold in France (Wildside), Australia (Transmission), Russia (Luxor) and Thailand (IPA Asia). The uConnect/Celluloid partnership’s Cannes slate includes Giuseppe Tornatore’s The Best Offer and Katrin Gebbe’s Nothing Bad Can Happen which is playing in the Un Certain Regard section. Another uConnect/Celluloid title is the Takashi Miike competition pic Shield Of Straw. The companies said they have acquired Miike’s next pic, taking international rights to his contemporary take on Japan’s most famous and chilling ghost story Yotsuya Kaiden.

Mongrel Media has been on a shopping spree during Cannes, acquiring all Canadian rights on competition titles Inside Llewyn Davis and Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza. Its latest pickup is competition entry Blue Is The Warmest Color from director Abdellatif Kechiche. The movie premieres here Thursday. Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos star in the lesbian coming-of-age story. Mongrel is planning a 2014 release. Read More »

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‘Expendables 2′ Sets Action Dream Trio: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis Join Sly Stallone

Mike Fleming

After The Expendables turned in a surprisingly strong $275 million worldwide gross, many have wondered what they would do for an encore. How’s this? Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis have just closed deals to take “substantial” roles in The Expendables 2, alongside Sylvester Stallone. This has been rumored as possible, and it basically answers the hopes of a lot of fans who weren’t satisfied when action icons Schwarzenegger and Willis turned in cameos in the original, and poked fun at the days when they were the world’s top action stars. Stallone directed the first one but stepped out and the job went to Simon West. Filming will begin in October, and Lionsgate will once again release the Millennium Films-produced actioner. Schwarzenegger and Willis are repped by CAA. Schwarzenegger is already working for Lionsgate in the Jee-Won Kim-directed action film Last Stand. Willis will squeeze in the role before going off to Russia to reprise his John McLane role in Die Hard 5, which just landed John Moore as director at Fox, and then he will make a sequel to Red. Aside from Stallone, original cast members Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and Jet Li are expected to return, and there is buzz about Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Do we need to start a petition for Jeff Speakman?

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Simon West To Direct ‘Expendables 2′

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After a long search, Simon West is the choice to direct The Expendables 2, the sequel to the 2010 surprise hit action film. West, who most recently directed the CBS Films remake of The Mechanic with Jason Statham and Ben Foster, also directed Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The General’s Daughter. Production begins in the summer.

The sequel is expected to have back an original cast that includes Sylvester Stallone, Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and Jet Li. Stallone directed the original, which grossed $275 million worldwide, $103 million domestic. The film’s produced by Millennium Films and will be released by Lionsgate. West is repped by CAA.

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Sly Stallone: I’m Not Directing ‘Expendables’ Sequel!

Mike Fleming

Sylvester Stallone wants it known that despite reports to the contrary, he will not be directing the sequel to The Expendables. Stallone, who directed and starred in the crowd-pleasing original that grossed around $275 million for Millennium and Lionsgate, is heavily involved in putting together a list of directors to helm the second installment. That film’s being scripted and is expected to have the major action stars back — with Stallone lobbying for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis to return after playing cameos in the first film. The film’s also expected to broaden its coterie of action heroes beyond Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren and Terry Crews, but none of those casting decisions have yet been finalized. Stallone next stars in the drama Headshot, a drama that will be directed by Walter Hill.

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Sly’s ‘The Expendables’ Tracking Very Big

Lionsgate and Sylvester Stallone could sure use a fresh hit when it opens August 13th. But what an irresistible concept seeing Stallone directing and starring with Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, and even Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (for nanoseconds). It’s the kind of old school camp that the action box office needs. So what will it make? My box office gurus are predicting at the very least $30+M and maybe as much as $40M because it’s R-rated, only 2D, but helped by a short running time of only 1 hour, 43 minutes. Comic-Con: ‘The Expendables’ Panel

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