EXCLUSIVE: Writer-director John Swetnam (Step Up: All In, Into the Storm) and exec producer John Legend have cast the twinkle-toed lineup for their internet-generation dance pic, Breaking Through. Dancer, choreographer, and actress Sophia Aguiar was discovered via YouTube after performing with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, Usher, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears. She’ll make her first feature splash in the pic alongside Jordan Rodrigues, who starred on Aussie teen dance drama Dance Academy and currently recurs on ABC Family’s The Fosters.
Related: John Legend, ‘Step Up 5′s John Swetnam Prepping Found Footage Dance Pic ‘Breaking Through’
Swetnam’s casting search also led him to Robert Roldan who appeared on Season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance, contortionist and dancer Marissa Heart who’s danced with Miley Cyrus, J. Lo, and Kanye West, and Taeko McCarroll who appeared on America’s Best Dance Crew. Pic will be choreographed by YouTube star Ian Eastwood (American’s Best Dance Crew, Season 7) with performances by dance groups Les Twins, Poreotics, dance personality Dominic D-Trix Sandoval (So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew) and hip hop violinist-dancer Lindsey Stirling (America’s Got Talent). Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: R&B singer John Legend and Step Up: All In scribe John Swetnam are teaming on coming-of-age dance drama Breaking Through, which has locked independent financing and is gearing up for a summer shoot. It’ll be the first feature of its kind to combine two subgenres — dance movies and found footage — in a plot described as a “documentary-style dance drama for the YouTube generation.” Casting starts soon on the pic, which is looking to discover new dance talent a la the Step Up films. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate/Summit has won an auction for Spinback, a John Swetnam spec script action thriller set in the world of electronic dance music. Scott Speer (Step Up Revolution) is attached to direct, with Todd Garner producing through his Broken Road Productions banner, with Sean Robins and Jeremy Stein.
Garner hatched the idea, which, boiled down is: soldier returns from Afghanistan. When his brother, a prominent DJ on the EDM circuit, is murdered, he must infiltrate that world in order to figure out the killer. The project aspires to have a fast-paced niche subculture vibe reminiscent of The Fast And The Furious and XXX. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Get ready for another installment of Step Up, the under the radar franchise that continues to do strong business, particularly overseas. Summit Entertainment has just set John Swetnam to write the script for a film that has Scott Speer returning to direct and Offspring partners Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman producing.
Step Up 5 will build to a big dance-off and the intention is to get the leads of the previous films to return in cameo roles. There’s no telling whether the biggest star to emerge from the series, Channing Tatum, will be among those. But he must have good memories. The 2006 original film helped launch Tatum’s career, and he married his lead actress and dance partner in the film, Jenna Dewan. Step Up 5 is intended to be a 3D effort.
Swetnam wrote the scripts for Evidence and the upcoming Black Sky (previously known as Category 6), and he’s also scripting a hush hush project at New Line. Swetnam is repped by Paradigm and Benderspink.