EXCLUSIVE: Following the release of his latest feature, the true story marijuana trafficking pic Kid Cannabis, multi-hyphenate John Stockwell has signed with Paradigm. The actor, writer, director and producer started his career acting in films like Losin’ It and Top Gun, both opposite Tom Cruise, starred in miniseries North and South, and battled a killer car in Stephen King’s Christine. Stockwell’s screenwriting credits include Blue Crush, Rock Star, Under Cover, Dangerously Close, and Kid Cannabis. He also wrote the Emmy-nominated telefilm Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden, episodes of Showtime’s The L Word, and Cheaters. The latter earned Stockwell an Emmy nod for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or a Movie. He broke through as a director with 2001′s Crazy/Beautiful and 2002′s surfing pic Blue Crush, following with a run of features behind the camera including Into the Blue, Turistas, Cat Run, and Dark Tide. Stockwell most recently helmed the Gina Carano-starring actioner In The Blood and is currently developing aspirational sports pic Dig for Voltage Pictures.
Diego Boneta has signed up for the John Stockwell-directed In The Blood. And Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama bin Laden’s Cam Gigandet is in negotiations to join the thriller also. Stockwell directed the National Geographic Channel TV movie about the strike against the Al-Qaeda leader. In The Blood is about a woman who tries to track down her husband after he is kidnapped on their South American honeymoon. James Robert Johnston and Bennett Yellin wrote the screenplay. Haywire star and former American Gladiators Gina Carano plays Ava the wife. Gigandet, who appeared in the first Twilight, would portray the husband. Rock Of Ages star Boneta will play Manny, a local who ends up joining Ava on her search. Cash Warren, Shaun Redick and Ray Mansfield are producing. Boneta is repped by Gersh, Luber Roklin Entertainment and attorney Gretchen Rush. Gigandet is repped by WME and Luber Roklin Entertainment.
The director of the upcoming National Geographic TV movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden is criticizing the New York Times for suggesting in a story that his Seal Team Six risks causing additional backlash in the Muslim world against President Obama and the U.S. John Stockwell told Politico the NYT‘s suggestion that the movie “contains scenes that might be incendiary to the Muslim world, because of the ‘jeopardy to Muslim children during the assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound’ is “nonsensical.” “We went to great lengths to highlight the care and the control that the SEALs showed during the chaos of the raid — not to harm any women and children”, Stockwell told Politico. (The director even provided clips from the movie to illustrate his his point; see them below.) The NYT piece focused mainly on editing that gave Obama more prominence and deleted a scene in which GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney appeared to oppose the raid. Nat Geo is airing the movie November 4, two days before the election.
EXCLUSIVE: Kenny Wormald and Jonathan Daniel Brown have been set to star in Kid Cannabis, a fact-based indie about two guys who smuggle pot between the borders of Idaho and British Columbia. Wormald got his break playing Ren (the Kevin Bacon role) in the Footloose remake while Brown starred in Project X. Stockwell wrote the script for Kid Cannabis, based on a Rolling Stone article. Stockwell’s Code Name Geronimo, a drama about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, sold in a big Cannes deal to The Weinstein Company. TWC plans to release in early fall, putting the film before the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Zero Dark Thirty, a drama on the same subject which Sony Pictures will release December 19. Wormald is repped by UTA and Caliber Media, Brown by CAA and Black Box Management and Stockwell by ICM Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: In what is shaping up as the first major deal made on the ground at the Cannes Film Festival, The Weinstein Company is in hot and heavy negotiations for U.S. rights to Code Name Geronimo, the John Stockwell-directed drama about the manhunt for 9/11 terror attack mastermind Osama bin Laden. The deal is in the $2 million range, and is being negotiated on the basis of a trailer for a film that is in post-production.
That footage was unveiled today by Voltage Pictures’ Nicolas Chartier and WME Global’s Graham Taylor (who just landed in Cannes), and Weinstein moved quickly to hammer out a deal with attorney Craig Emanuel.
What is most intriguing about this is that TWC can put the film into theaters in early fall, a move that would put it before the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Zero Dark Thirty. That film, which has an ensemble cast including Joel Edgerton and Jessica Chastain, won’t be released until December 19 after Sony Pictures decided not to put it in theaters during the presidential elections. Already it is clear that President Obama’s green light of the SEAL Team 6 mission will be a major issue in the upcoming presidential campaign, and Republicans have already railed against the notion that writer Mark Boal got inside information from the administration for his script.
EXCLUSIVE: Industry vets Mark Lindsay, Marina Grasic and Jan Korbelin have launched Cargo Entertainment, a company that will be affiliated with Curious Pictures and will finance, produce and run foreign sales for independent films. The company is launching at AFM with a first project. In The Blood, an action revenge thriller that will be directed by John Stockwell, will begin production in Puerto Rico in the spring. The film is scripted by Dumb and Dumber’s Bennett Yellin and James Robert Johnston.
Stockwell called the film “an opportunity to take on a taut, tense paranoid thriller that delivers on a supremely engaging premise, what if the person you love vanished in a foreign land and you were the prime suspect in their disappearance?” The film is produced by Verso Entertainment’s Baron Davis and Cash Warren, along with Movie Package Company’s Shaun Redick and Ray Mansfield.
With the American Film Market kicking off next week in Santa Monica, sellers already are positioning the projects they will put in front of the more than 8,000 attendees from more than 70 countries. Here are a few projects already ramping up:
Stockwell To Direct Code Name Geronimo
John Stockwell (Dark Tide, Turistas, Into The Blue) has come aboard to direct the upcoming Code Name Geronimo, the latest among a slew of films centered on the Navy SEALs’ mission to find and kill Osama bin Laden. Voltage Pictures is selling rights at AFM on this film, which was written by Kendall Lampkin and is set to begin principle photography in January. ICM negotiated the deal and represents Stockwell. Geronimo is based on the actual incursion into bin Laden’s compound from the perspective of a small unit of SEALs. Of course, the most high-profile of the bin Laden film bunch is the Sony Pictures one from The Hurt Locker team of director Kathryn Bigelow and scribe Mark Boal, which focuses on the SEAL unit’s hunt for the al-Qaeda leader and is looking like it might not be released until after the 2012 presidential election. There’s also Relativity’s Act Of Valor, which features a half-dozen leads played by actual SEALs and was backed by the military. It is due out Presidents Day weekend 2012. That one was scripted by Kurt Johnstad (300) and directed by the ICM-repped Bandito Brothers’ Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh.