EXCLUSIVE: Alex Walton and Ken Kao’s new sales production and finance outfit Bloom will handle international sales on The Hunters with A Good Day To Die Hard‘s John Moore attached to direct. Based on Chris Kuzneski’s 2013 novel, the screenplay was adapted by the Taken and Transporter franchises’ Robert Mark Kamen. The Hunters follows a special unit tasked by a reclusive billionaire to track down a lost treasure. Paradigm will handle U.S. rights. This will be the first film to come out of Tempo, Grabbers and Killing Bono producer Piers Tempest’s new UK venture with Jo Bamford. Mark Huffam (Exodus: Gods And Kings) and Chris Clark (Calvary) will also join the producing team.
Walton, who launched Bloom on Tuesday with Gus Van Sant’s Sea Of Trees, calls The Hunters “the perfect addition to our growing portfolio – a dynamic European based thriller that will excite audiences across the globe. We are thrilled to be working with Tempo and with a director that is proven to deliver heart-pounding action.” Moore adds that the script is reminiscent “of the kind of great action movies I grew up on like Lethal Weapon, great characters and smart dialogue.”
Here’s a new trailer that Fox has released for the John Moore-directed A Good Day To Die Hard, the fifth installment of Bruce Willis as cop/reluctant hero John McClane. He’s blowing up plenty of shit here and it’s still hard to believe that this franchise works so well when the first one came out way back in 1988. That is one of a handful of films–Godfather I&II, Goodfellas, Heat and Braveheart are a few others–that I dutifully sit and watch at any point in the film if I’m flipping channels with the remote. Aside from hair, it doesn’t look like Willis’ McClane has lost much off his fastball and I’m as excited about this as I am Taken 2.
It wasn’t lost on many in the crowd of independent film distributors and agents at this week’s Gotham Awards that the whole evening seemed full of contradictions. Indie film is a down and dirty, low budget affair, and yet the event was held in the cavernous confines of Cipriani at 55 Wall Street, where attendees dined on filet mignon and champagne, just around the corner from the Occupy Wall Street crowd. No one personified this dichotomy more than Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman Tom Rothman, the only executive given a tribute award. Rothman’s roots are in the indie game, even though he now spends most of his time these days as the hands-on manager of big ticket films like A Good Day To Die Hard and readying the next installments of Rise of the Apes and X-Men: First Class and The Wolverine.
Rothman said he still has a soft spot for the indies, and he was touched by Ang Lee’s recollection of Rothman begging him not to “fry the kid” in Ice Storm, and then being supportive when Lee did it anyway, electrocuting Elijah Wood’s character in a gamble that worked out. Rothman said he felt like he’d come out on the winning side on another gamble, sneaking Cameron Crowe’s We Bought A Zoo all over the country. “I can’t recall any movie snuck like this a month early on a national wide basis, before the advertising hit,” Rothman said. He’s now … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Rand Holston is leaving CAA, the talent agency where he spent the last 28 years. I’m hearing this might be one of several exits to take place over the next three weeks. The agency confirmed that Holston is leaving. I’m told he is meeting with other agencies, and he will land at one of them before year’s end. His longtime writer and director clients include Stephen King, Rob Reiner, Wolfgang Petersen, Robert Towne, John Moore, Marshall Herskovitz, Jordan Kerner, Ed Zwick, Jim Ivory, Bruce Robinson and Jon Avnet.
EXCLUSIVE: After a long search process, 20th Century Fox and Bruce Willis have just chosen John Moore to direct Die Hard 5. The film will shoot in Russia, and the hope is to make it before Willis moves on to shoot a Red sequel for Summit Entertainment. In fact, Willis has just begun going through the same director search with Summit on a sequel to the 2010 hit Red. Robert Schwentke is busy helming Universal’s R.I.P.D. with Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds. They’ve just begun casting the dragnet for directors on that film. Names like Breck Eisner are being floated, but other shooters are being considered.
As for Die Hard 5, Moore is in final negotiations and was in the running through the entire search as Fox tried to find a filmmaker that pleased Willis and the studio execs that have to shoot this movie in Russia and bring it in on a budget and a tight schedule. Fox has been looking for a new director since Noam Murro left the picture after he got the job helming 300: Battle Of Artemisia for Warner Bros. The studio started with a wish list of directors to helm the script by Skip Woods that included Joe Cornish (who directed Attack the Block), Fast Five helmer Justin Lin, Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, and Moore. More recently, I’d heard Fox had conversations with helmers that included Gary Fleder, Paul McGuigan and 1408 helmer Mikael Hafstrom. Read More »
Hardly a big revelation, the report that Bruce Willis is negotiating to play the original G.I. Joe, Joe Colton, in Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation. This courtship has been going on for about six weeks or more, and Deadline was the first to tell you that Willis was the guy that Paramount was chasing for the Colton role way back on July 1. That was when we broke news that Friday Night Lights‘ Adrianne Palicki had been cast as the female lead by director Jon M. Chu. At the time the studio claimed that Willis wasn’t the only actor being eyed, but I’ve only heard his name for that role and I believe the conversation was always with Willis. He has time to squeeze this in before gearing up for another Die Hard, with the studio about to set a director from a short list of Attack the Block’s Joe Cornish, Fast Five helmer Justin Lin, Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn and Max Payne helmer John Moore. This positions Willis to have his third franchise, at age 56, as Summit develops a sequel to his 2010 sleeper hit Red.
20th Century Fox is turning up the heat on Die Hard 5, even though its attached director, Noam Murro, left the picture after he got the job helming 300: Battle Of Artemisia for Warner Bros. I’m told that the studio has come up with a short list of directors who’ll meet to potentially helm the film scripted by Skip Woods. They are: Joe Cornish (who directed Attack the Block), Fast Five helmer Justin Lin, Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn and Max Payne helmer John Moore. The film brings the always-in-the-wrong-place cop John McClane to Russia. Bruce Willis is ready to reprise his signature role as early as this fall.
The surprise on the list is Cornish. While his feature directorial debut Attack the Block had a budget probably less than the catering bill on last weekend’s other alien invasion film opener Cowboys & Aliens, the movie has become a critical darling as it opened to $130,000 in eight theaters (it has grossed $4.3 million overseas). It would be a big jump to Die Hard 5, but remember the studio had attached Murro, whose debut was the 2008 character comedy Smart People.
Lin is hot off Fast Five, and is expected to do another The Fast and the Furious installment and is attached to the package to finish The Terminator franchise that was acquired by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.
Refn has much momentum for Drive, the drama that played Cannes and opens in September. Refn reteamed with Ryan Gosling for Only God Forgives, another action film that shoots late summer in Thailand, and which FilmDistrict acquired for U.S. distribution late last month. Refn is also booked to remake Logan’s Run with Gosling. Then there is Moore, the Irish helmer who has directed all of his features – Max Payne, The Omen, Flight of the Phoenix and Behind Enemy Lines — for Fox. A web report indicated that Moore already had the job, but I’m told that the filmmaker meetings haven’t started yet, so that might be jumping the gun. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: As Max Payne director John Moore finishes the first graphic novel he helped create, he tells me he has set his sights on a 3D big screen transfer of the reality series Ice Road Truckers as his next film. He said that when casting fell through on his Paramount/Skydance aviation drama Northern Lights – the pic was grounded when Taylor Lautner dropped out — Moore sparked to Ice Road Truckers, the History Channel’s top-rated reality series which 20th Century Fox president Emma Watts acquired for the big screen in 2008. Moore said he and an unnamed writer (because he doesn’t have a deal yet) have come up with a take that has the studio excited.
They’re hatching a plot around the storyline of the series, which covers a group of truckers who drive 18-wheelers over a 350-mile highway made of ice, as they haul equipment and supplies to diamond miners working in the tundra of Canada’s Northwest Territories. It’s a dangerous job given the brutal cold, breakdowns, crashes and melting ice on the remote roads are potentially fatal. “It is very much a tough guy movie,” Moore said. “Here’s a bunch of characters who tackle problems by getting in there and getting things done. We’ll turn it into a mission movie that harkens back to Towering Inferno, Jaws, or The Guns of Navarone. You got a problem, go solve it.”
But, first, Moore teamed with Richie … Read More »