Jason Blum‘s Blumhouse Productions is launching Blumhouse International to handle foreign sales on the company’s films. The new division has a worldwide distribution and servicing deal with IM Global and the two will introduce the new venture to foreign distributors in Cannes. Kicking off the slate are Sinister 2, the sequel to last year’s hit horror pic, and Stretch, a comedy thriller to be directed by Joe Carnahan who also produces with Blum. Tracy Falco is exec producer on the latter project and Leon Corcos is co-producer. Both films start production later this year. The new division will handle sales of films outside Blumhouse’s first-look deal with Universal.
EXCLUSIVE: Joe Carnahan is making a deal at Warner Bros to direct Undying Love, with Carnahan writing the script. It is based on the graphic novel and revolves around an ex-soldier who falls for a vampire, though in order to be with her, he must take on her creator. And that creator happens to be protected by an army of mobsters in the Hong Kong underworld. Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman created the novel and wrote the first script draft, and Michael De Luca and Stephen L’Heureux and Benderspink are producing.
Carnahan, who last helmed The Grey, said he sparked to the concept, even though it was a little outside his usual comfort zone. “I really took to it, and the metric I use is how fast I come up with ideas and an outline, and this brought about a bunch of ideas,” Carnahan said. “It is a little out of my wheelhouse, taking place in China with mysticism and swordplay, but there is a lot of potential here.”
BREAKING: Director Joe Carnahan seems to be ready to toss in the towel on the last ditch attempt to reboot the Marvel superhero Daredevil before Fox’s rights to the franchise expire this fall. Carnahan sent out a tweet today saying, “I think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids.”
From what I’m hearing, that means that Fox, which made the original Daredevil movie that starred Ben Affleck, is prepared to see the rights to that character revert back to Marvel Studios, and fall under the Disney umbrella. Marvel essentially said no to an extension and to Fox’s request that it come aboard as cofinancier of the Daredevil film. Deadline revealed back at Comic-Con that Fox had a problem with a ticking rights clock that would expire in October, something that became an issue after David Slade bailed on the project after he committed to direct the Hannibal pilot. Fox wasn’t too upset by all this, because the studio was lukewarm on making the movie.
It is certainly possible that Carnahan, who’s coming off The Grey, will get the chance to make his gritty blind lawyer-turned crime fighter Matt Murdock/Daredevil at Disney. But it will be Kevin Feige’s decision. As for Fox, the studio will focus on the forward moving Marvel projects Fantastic Four, which is being rebooted, and X-Men: First Class and
Open Road Films released a new 90-second spot for Joe Carnahan’s chilly thriller The Grey starring Liam Neeson. It opens January 27. The trailer first was cut for Harry Knowles’s Aint It Cool News website after the film killed at Harry’s Butt-Numb-A-Thon, the 24-hour movie fest that has become a …
The Liam Neeson-starring thriller The Grey is due out January 27 from Open Road Films and centers on an expert in survival skills whose plane crashes in the arctic wild. He must lead a group of survivors to safety while fighting off some bad doggies. So is it the winter …
Open Road has released a teaser trailer for The Grey, the Joe Carnahan-directed drama in which Liam Neeson leads a team of oil drillers whose plane crashes in the Alaskan wilds — right in the middle of a territorial pack of rogue wolves. Open Road acquired the film last month …
In a surprise development, Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road has set the Joe Carnahan-directed killer wolf pack thriller The Grey to open wide on Jan. 27. Now, that puts the movie beyond the Oscars. But I’m told that Open Road has left open the possibility that the film could get a qualifying run in two theaters before year’s end so that Liam Neeson would qualify for the Best Actor category. I must say I am a bit surprised that the qualifying run isn’t an automatic. Buyers who watched the movie and bid on it in July before Open Road won it — paying near $8 million and a $25 million P&A commitment for U.S. rights — all hailed Neeson’s performance as Oscar bait. The deal was based on watching 30 minutes of scenes, but word was that opening this year, even just to qualify, was a priority for the sellers and a reason some distributors with full Oscar-season skeds shied away. Neeson plays the leader of a group of oil drillers who struggle to survive in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes smack in the middle of a territorial rogue wolf pack. Carnahan won’t finish the film in time to show it at Telluride, Toronto or the New York Film Festival, but they will get enough feedback from advance screenings to make a decision about whether it’s ready to wage an Oscar campaign for Neeson, who was nominated once in his career for Schindler’s List and has enjoyed a leading man resurgence thanks to Taken. Here is Open Road’s official announcement about the date:
Deadline told you last Friday that upstart distributor Open Road would close a big deal for U.S. distribution rights to The Grey, Joe Carnahan’s thriller about a group of oil drillers whose plane crashes in Alaska, smack in the …
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: Andrew Niccol has been set as the director of The Host, directing his scripted adaptation of the bestselling novel by Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer. The project, which is being shopped here at Cannes by Inferno Entertainment and producers Nick Wechsler and Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz, will star Saoirse Ronan.
After resisting overtures to sell the book, Meyer finally entrusted it with the producers, who gave her strong creative input. She chose Niccol originally because she was a fan of his film Gattaca and script for The Truman Show. While Niccol adapted the book into the current script, he exited to make the film Now, which he has completed with Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy starring. The producers went down the road with several directors, but talks with Niccol to return started heating up in recent weeks. Ronan ramped up interest in the film when she was set to star.
Ronan will play Melanie Stryder, one of the last humans putting up a fight against an alien species called Souls. These parasites invade human bodies, fuse to each person’s consciousness and systematically erase their personalities. The story follows Melanie as she is captured by the aliens and implanted by a Soul called Wanderer, something of a legend because of all of the “hosts” she has attached to on numerous planets. Wanderer’s goal is to get Melanie to give up the remaining pockets of humans, but instead the alien finds Melanie to be unique in her unwillingness to surrender her consciousness. Wanderer is so overwhelmed by Melanie’s memories and feelings that she is driven to reconnect with Melanie’s old life, which includes falling for Melanie’s boyfriend. The result is a complex, romantic and emotional human/alien love triangle.