The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol, England will be the home of Disney’s ABC Studios’ Galavant when it shoots later this summer. Pre-production started this week in the west of England and filming begins in August. Galavant is one of the major U.S. series to decamp to Britain this year to take advantage of the lucrative TV tax credit. The musical comedy fairytale from Dan Fogelman stars Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, Mallory Jansen, Karen David and Luke Youngblood. Also currently filming at Bottle Yard are BBC Two’s Wolf Hall, BBC One’s Poldark, Sky 1 comedy Trollied, and Channel 4’s Deal Or No Deal.
Australia’s Foxtel has unveiled the cast of miniseries Deadline Gallipoli. Joining Sam Worthington in the drama that just started shooting, are Hugh Dancy, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown, Ewan Leslie, Jessica De Gouw, Anna Torv, John Bell, James Fraser, Charles Dance, and newcomer Joel Jackson. Worthington is co-producing the chronicle of the Aussie and English journalists who covered the World War I battle and were instrumental in the decision to end the campaign against Turkish forces. Charles Bean, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, Phillip Schuler and Keith Murdoch (Rupert’s dad) were the first truly embedded war correspondents whose defiance ignited a change in the campaign’s course and whose commitment to the stories of the men turned the war from a strategic failure into a … Read More »
Jude Law plays the eponymous larger-than-life safecracker in black comedy Dom Hemingway. Back on the streets of London after 12 years in prison, he’s eager to collect what he’s owed for keeping his mouth shut. But things take a turn when he and his partner (Richard E Grant) set off to visit his boss (Demian Bichir) in the south of France. Emilia Clarke also stars in the film that’s from The Matador writer-director Richard Shepard. Lionsgate UK is releasing November 15th in Britain and Fox Searchlight has North America where it will release next year. Jeremy Thomas produced through Recorded Picture Company.
Red Sea Media Acquires 2 Titles For Marché du Film Red Sea Media has acquired worldwide rights, excluding North America, for two new titles: horror-thriller Sacrilege and comedic horror pic Hell Baby. Red Sea will introduce both at the upcoming Marché du Film. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, Sacrilege is produced by Rick Dugdale of Enderby Entertainment through Enderby’s horror division Tony-Seven Films, Sean E. DeMott through Execution Style Entertainment and Chris M. Bonifay through Limb from Limb Pictures. Sacrilege is about a family who takes back their son 3 years after he is kidnapped & brainwashed by a devil worshipping cult. Now, he would like nothing more than to watch them get murdered. With the cult surrounding their cabin, the family must fight for their lives while trying to undo the damage. No cast has yet been announced. Hell Baby tells the story of an expectant couple who move into a haunted fixer-upper in New Orleans — a house with a demonic curse. Things spiral out of control and only the Vatican’s elite exorcism team can save them — or can they? Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Riki Lindhome, Rob Huebel, Michael Ian Black, Paul Scheer, Keegan Michael Key, Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon star. Darko Entertainment’s Hell Baby was written and directed by Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon and produced by Jeff Culotta, Ted Hamm, Sean McKittrick and Peter Principato. Read More »
Lionsgate UK has released the first trailer for Filth, the Jon S. Baird-directed film that’s based on Irvine Welsh’s 1998 novel. The Trainspotting author also exec produces the pic that stars James McAvoy as a bigoted and corrupt cop who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Enlisted to solve a brutal murder and threatened by the aspirations of his colleagues, he sets about ensuring their ruin but starts to lose himself in a web of deceit that he can no longer control. Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell, Joanne Froggatt, Eddie Marsan and Jim Broadbent also star. The film releases in the UK in September. Check out the NSFW trailer below:
Deadline noted in February that Alan Rickman is set to direct British indie A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet and Rust & Bone‘s Matthias Schoenaerts. Lionsgate UK has boarded the film as main financier as part of a drive to double its investment in local film. Rickman will also star in the love story about rival landscape gardeners who are competing to design a fountain at Versailles for Louis XIV. Principal photography starts in April. Rickman previously directed Emma Thompson and her mother Phyllida Law in 1997′s The Winter Guest. He recently signed with ICM Partners and next plays Ronald Reagan in the Lee Daniels-directed The Butler. Winslet is next starring in Jason Reitman’s Labor Day. Belgian actor Schoenaerts, who broke out in 2011′s Bullhead, just won France’s César Award for Best Male Newcomer in Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone.
Gail Egan, Andrea Caldrewood and Bertrand Faivre are producing with Lionsgate UK’s Zygi Kamasa exec producing. The studio will co-produce alongside BBC Films and Lipsync. Ray Cooper, Christine Langan, Julia Taylor Stanley, Norman Merry will also executive produce. Lionsgate UK will take UK rights and rep U.S. rights with Lionsgate International handling the rest of the world. Australia’s Transmission has Oz. Read More »
Bruce Greenwood Joins Atom Egoyan’s ‘Queen Of The Night’
The European Film Market kicks off at the Berlin Film Festival on Thursday and we’ll be posting rolling briefs on a daily basis from today and for the duration. To wit: Canadian director Atom Egoyan has added Bruce Greenwood to the cast of his psychological thriller Queen Of The Night which eOne is handling for international sales. Principal photography has just gotten underway in Canada. This is Greenwood’s fourth time working with Egoyan. He joins Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Mireille Enos, Kevin Durand and Alexia Fast. Reynolds and Enos play the parents of an abducted child. Eight years after the kidnapping, Reynolds’ character is convinced the now 17-year-old girl is alive. The film is based on an original story by Egoyan with screenplay by Egoyan and David Fraser. Ego Film Arts and The Film Farm produce with eOne distributing in Canada. France’s ARP Selection has rights in that territory.
Lionsgate UK Boards Pair Of British Indies
Simon Crowe’s SC Films International will handle two British titles that Lionsgate UK has just added to its production slate. The films reteam Lionsgate UK with writer/director Ronnie Thompson whose Tower Block and Screwed the company previously released. Thompson … Read More »
Lionsgate UK has shaved years off the potential local rating for The Hunger Games by making 7 seconds worth of tweaks. According to Britain’s ratings board the BBFC, the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate without the changes Lionsgate made in order to secure the younger-skewing 12A rating (similar to a PG-13 in the U.S.). Fixes were made in four scenes of violence and one showing details of injuries. The board says the edits were for the most part implemented ahead of formal submission, after Lionsgate had sought advice on how to ensure the 12A. Some or all of the tweaks — many of which apparently had to do with blood — were substitutions. The film will be released March 23 with the consumer advice tag: “Contains intense threat, moderate violence and occasional gory moments.” In the U.S., The Hunger Games secured a PG-13 for “intense violent thematic material and disturbing images — all involving teens.” The Gary Ross-directed adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ hit novel (the first in a trilogy) has been tracking huge with expectations Read More »
HBO and Sony veteran Roberta Ibba-Hartog has joined Lionsgate UK as head of TV, UK and Eastern Europe, the company announced today. She will be responsible for sales and distribution of films and TV series in the UK and Ireland and also oversee Eastern European sales. The full press release is below:
London, Friday 20 January 2012: Lionsgate UK have hired Roberta Ibba-Hartog as Head of TV, UK and Eastern Europe. In this new role Ibba-Hartog will be responsible for the sales and distribution of all Lions Gate films and TV series for UK and Eire and will oversee sales in Eastern Europe.
She joins Lionsgate from her previous position as Vice President of International Distribution (CEE, Korea and Japan) at HBO. Prior to HBO, Roberta worked at Sony Pictures International as Director of Sales, covering Nordic, Benelux and CEE.
Lionsgate UK today confirmed its new distribution pact with Icon UK, saying it will handle the release of all of the latter’s titles moving forward. The deal is for rights to all films to come, but, for the moment at least, the Icon library is not included. Speculation has been that Lionsgate would take over the library, which includes Precious, Man On Wire, A Single Man, Paranormal Activity and others. Lionsgate UK already handles the home entertainment rights for the Miramax and Nu Image libraries and recently entered a multi-year licensing deal with Netflix ahead of the streaming service’s 2012 UK launch. Icon’s releases in 2011 have included Jodie Foster’s The Beaver and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. Lionsgate will now handle the release of Winding Refn’s next picture, Only God Forgives, along with Walter Salles’ On The Road, Adam Wingard’s You’re Next and the very English Postman Pat: The Movie. Read More »
Advertising Up 12.5% For China’s Biggest Broadcaster
Foreign and Chinese advertisers will pay about $2.25 billion next year for time on China’s biggest television network CCTV. That’s up roughly 12.5% over 2011. That may seem high compared to the rest of the world which is generally chalking up low single-digit growth, but China has been accustomed to annual hikes ranging from 15% to 18.5% during the past five years. Similar to the US networks’ upfront market, CCTV’s auction of TV time for the coming year is seen as a benchmark for not only China’s ad industry but the country’s economy as a whole. One of the largest bidders was white-spirits company Kweichow Moutai Co., which pledged $78.4 million. Bank of China committed $12 million for a 10-second slot after the evening news in January and February during peak viewership for special Chinese New Year programming. Internet companies including 360buy.com and Alibaba were the fastest growing advertisers representing a 7.7% increase over 2011. In general Western companies were less aggressive this year, but Volkswagen AG was one of the largest foreign advertisers according to Beijing ad agency Charm Communications. Procter & Gamble Co. pledged $25.2 million. Separately, CCTV plans to open a new HQ in Washington, D.C., in January as part of an agressive foreign expansion.
Duncan Gray Named Creative Director Of Princess Productions
Princess Productions today announced the appointment of Duncan Gray, currently Head of Entertainment Commissioning for Sky. Gray will join the company as Creative Director in early 2012, reporting … Read More »
Here’s a first look at Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, the witchy central character in Great Expectations, Mike Newell’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel. Miss Havisham is an iconic character over here in Britain: an embittered spinster who sits in her mouldering mansion still wearing the wedding dress she wore when she was jilted at the altar; she has trained her adopted daughter Estella to break men’s hearts just as her heart was broken. Bonham Carter co-stars opposite Ralph Fiennes as escaped convict Magwitch. Producer Stephen Woolley tells me the Oscar nominee is playing Miss Havisham at the same age she is in Dickens novel — previous incarnations by Charlotte Rampling, Anne Bancroft and, most memorably, Martita Hunt in David Lean’s version played her much older. New York-based Unison Films is searching for a U.S. deal for the film, which Lionsgate UK will release in fall 2012. Hanway Films, which is handling all other territories, will show footage in Berlin. Newell will finish shooting the BBC Films-backed project by Christmas. Robbie Coltrane, Sally Hawkins and David Walliams (Little Britain) co-star, with Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as Pip, the young hero of the story.
EXCLUSIVE: In a clear signal that Netflix is preparing for a major expansion into the UK, the streaming company has made what I believe to be its first content deal with a film company there. My sources tell me that Netflix has signed a multi-year exclusive output deal for first pay TV rights with Lionsgate UK. Netflix would not comment, nor would Lionsgate UK, but this pact sets the stage for what will be the first competition that Rupert Murdoch’s Sky has faced in the pay TV movie business in the UK for over a decade.
It is also a deal that gives Lionsgate UK CEO Zygi Kamasa an opportunity to take his company to the next level with a state-of-the-art pay TV deal that will kick in when Netflix opens for UK business. Like Lionsgate in the US, Lionsgate UK is part of the Lionsgate Group, but it operates autonomously under Kamasa, financing film productions and making acquisitions for the UK theatrical and ancillary marketplace. The company’s recent film acquisitions have included The Hurt Locker, The Mechanic and the Ralph Fiennes-directed Coriolanus. Lionsgate UK has also been getting more aggressive in generating British product. It recently completed production on the second film it fully financed, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The Lasse Hallstrom-directed film stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas, and it premieres at next month’s Toronto Film Festival.
Netflix has so far announced it will make its first … Read More »
The UK arm of Lionsgate will start pre-production on its big-budget remake of cult 1970s British TV series The Professionals this fall. The action series about secret agents was a hit across Europe and in Australia but never made it to the U.S. The series was hatched by The Avengers creator Brian Clemens and made local stars of actors Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins, who played the agents. Gordon Jackson — best known as the butler in Upstairs Downstairs — played their dour Scottish boss. Producer Richard Whelan is now in Los Angeles trying to lock down a director. Lionsgate UK will court Tom Hardy, Gerard Butler and Jason Statham to play secret agents Bodie and Doyle, with Liam Neeson and Gary Oldman on their list to play their boss. Lionsgate UK CEO Zygi Kamasa acknowledges The Professionals is an unknown quantity in brand-happy Hollywood. He said the success of The Expendables and Red shows there’s a market for older action fare. This big-screen version will be an origin story, showing how ex-Spec Ops mercenary Bodie and counter-terrorism detective Doyle unite to work for covert UK security unit CI5. Co-producer Callum McDougall was executive producer on the last two James Bond films and is shooting the Clash of the Titans sequel. Whelan was associate producer on Captain America for Marvel. The Professionals will be Lionsgate UK’s third production after Salmon Fishing in Yemen, currently in post, and the Statham thriller … Read More »