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Hot Trailer: Guy Pearce And Maggie Grace In ‘Lockout’

By | Friday January 27, 2012 @ 12:21am PST

Wrongly convicted of espionage, Guy Pearce turns out to be the government’s go-to guy when the president’s daughter is trapped aboard an orbital maximum security prison. Maggie Grace also stars. Executive producer Luc Besson co-wrote with first-time feature directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger. Known under other names abroad and re-titled Lockout for the U.S. market, the FilmDistrict/Open Road sci-fi prison thriller is scheduled to open April 20.

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Universal Makes Deal On Luc Besson-Angelina Jolie Sci-Fi Film

By | Monday December 12, 2011 @ 1:11pm PST
Mike Fleming

Angelina Jolie To Star In Luc Besson-Directed Dramatic Thriller Film

Universal Pictures has acquired 80% of distribution rights — including in the U.S. — to the large-scale dramatic thriller that Luc Besson will direct with Angelina Jolie in the starring role. Besson currently has The Lady in the Oscar mix, but this film sounds like a closer cousin to his earlier efforts like The Professional, La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element. The script, rooted in true scientific elements, was written by Besson, who will also direct. His EuropaCorp developed the project and will co-finance, and production is set to begin in April 2012 mostly in EuropaCorp’s new production facilities in Paris. Virginie Besson Silla will oversee the project on behalf of EuropaCorp.

The film would be Jolie’s next as an actress, and it would come before she teams with director Ridley Scott on a historical epic about Gertrude Bell that The Constant Gardener scribe Jeffrey Caine is currently rewriting. Jolie is also moving quickly on Maleficent, the Linda Woolverton-scripted revisionist take on the Sleeping Beauty tale for Walt Disney Pictures, and she is getting closer to playing medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in the Fox 2000 drama based on the Patricia Cornwell novel series.

Jolie is getting ready for the release In The Land Of Blood And Honey, her feature directorial and screenwriting debut, which is being released by FilmDistrict in the heat … Read More »

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Angelina Jolie To Star In Luc Besson-Directed Dramatic Thriller Film

By | Tuesday December 6, 2011 @ 1:22pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Angelina Jolie is in talks to star in an untitled big-scale movie written and directed by Luc Besson. Besson currently has The Lady in the Oscar mix, but this film sounds like a closer cousin to early Besson efforts like The Professional, La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element.

I’m told that there are serious talks going on for Jolie to star next spring in a dramatic thriller that is rooted in true scientific elements. Besson’s EuropaCorp developed it and will co-finance, and negotiations are already underway with a studio for domestic distribution. The Besson film would be Jolie’s next as an actress, and it would come before she teams with director Ridley Scott on a historical epic about Gertrude Bell that The Constant Gardener scribe Jeffrey Caine is currently rewriting. I’m told there’s a high likelihood that both films will land at the same studio. Read More »

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Paul Walker In Talks For Luc Besson’s ‘District B 13′ Redo ‘Brick Mansions’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Paul Walker is in talks to star in Brick Mansions, the Americanized remake of the Paris-set Banlieue 13. The film has a script by Luc Besson (who co-wrote the original) and Robert Mark Kamen, Besson’s collaborator on Taken. The idea is for Walker to star with David Belle. Belle starred in the original and the sequel District 13: Ultimatum and he is also credited with creating Parkour, a sport that involves agility and leaping and climbing around obstacles. There is a lot of that in these films.

The film will be set in American city, most likely Chicago. Walker will play an undercover detective chasing a weapon of mass destruction that was stolen by a drug dealer in the ghetto known as Brick Mansions. He seeks help from the incredibly agile Lino (Belle), who knows Brick Mansions better than anyone and is the only person not cowering in fear of the drug dealers. Besson’s Europa Corp is producing, and while a number of Hollywood actors wanted the Lino role, Besson would not make the movie unless Belle was in it.

The original Banlieue 13 was directed by Pierre Morel, who went on to direct Besson’s Taken and From Paris With Love. Besson is giving this directing job to another protégé, but the company would not reveal who he is. Europa Corp will soon make a domestic distribution deal, which never seems … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Lady’

By | Monday October 3, 2011 @ 6:02pm PDT

Luc Besson’s The Lady tells the story of Burmese nonviolent pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. Michelle Yeoh stars as Suu Kyi with David Thewlis as her husband, writer Michael Aris, who campaigned along with their children for her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. The Lady is being released in the U.S. for an Oscar-qualifying run late this year.

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Toronto Recap: No Drunken Spending A Good Sign For Indie Film Resurgence

Mike Fleming

Was the 2011 Toronto Film Festival a good one for dealmaking? Even after organizers announced a 20% uptick in film deals last Friday (the festival includes foreign territories in its count), the sales kept coming. A long-expected deal with Lionsgate on the Jennifer Westfeldt-directed comedy Friends With Kids finally got done (in partnership with Roadside Attractions, which will actually release the film), and Music Box announced overnight it had acquired the Rachel Weisz-starrer The Deep  Blue Sea. Lionsgate was hotly pursuing another film, the Midnight Madness sensation You’re Next, which of all the festival films seems to have the best chance of approaching the box office turned in by Toronto 2010’s breakout Insidious. There have been about 20 acquisitions so far and that many more could come in the next few weeks.

Still, can you call the Toronto acquisitions marketplace “solid” when no films have been bought so far by The Weinstein Company, Sony Pictures Classics, Focus Features, or Fox Searchlight (yeah, I revealed that they bought Shame during Toronto, but it was a deal all but sealed in Venice), or for that matter FilmDistrict, Open Road or Relativity Media, each of which jumped into the distribution business to release films that can play on upwards of 2000 screens? Buyers and sellers said it was a pretty good festival at least. One filled with mostly small deals and a show of distributor discipline that is a positive sign for an indie film sector that just started pulling out of a nosedive this time last year. Read More »

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Toronto: Distribution Deal For Luc Besson’s ‘The Lady’ Puts Michelle Yeoh And David Thewlis In Oscar Race

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Oscar race just got a little more interesting. EuropaCorp has made a U.S. distribution deal with Cohen Media Group for the Luc Besson-directed The Lady, the story of Burmese pro-democracy activist and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi. Upstart Cohen Media Group plans to release the film for an Oscar-qualifying platform release late this year to capitalize on strong performances by Michelle Yeoh, who plays Suu Kyi, and David Thewlis, who plays her Oxford professor husband Michael Aris. The film will get a wider release in early 2012. Suu Kyi has spent most of the last 20 years under house arrest by the repressive Burmese military-controlled government. Leaders cruelly barred her husband and two sons from visiting her, thinking that it would drive her to leave. Because she knew that once gone she would never be permitted re-entry, Suu Kyi sacrificed everything to stay and become an iconic symbol of democracy and human rights. Her husband and sons bolstered her spirit and campaigned for the Nobel Peace Prize, which she was awarded in 1991. The distribution deals came quickly after the film premiered Monday evening at Roy Thomson Hall, where Besson, Yeoh and Thewlis received a rousing standing ovation. The deal was brokered by EuropaCorp Group CEO Christophe Lambert and Cohen Media Group CEO Charles S. Cohen.

The Lady becomes the second Toronto title to become an instant entry into upcoming awards season, after Fox Searchlight acquired the NC-17 Steve McQueen-directed Shame with plans to campaign for Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.

After establishing himself as France’s answer to Steven Spielberg directing hits like La Femme Nikita and The Professional and co-writing and producing action films like Taken, Besson has become very selective in the projects he directs. While he has always had a soft spot for strong female protagonists, it has always been in action settings. The Lady is a decided departure and certainly his most personal film to date. Besson made it to refocus the world’s attention on an activist whose continuing plight gets easily forgotten in a turbulent world, even though she won that Nobel Peace Prize and U2′s Bono and The Edge wrote the song Walk On about her sacrifice (which got U2′s album banned in Burma). Read More »

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2011 Toronto: ‘Shame’ Will Start Dealmaking Flurry, But Buyers Wait To Be Blown Away

Mike Fleming

Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and already there are fireworks. Deadline broke news yesterday that Harvey Weinstein would start a VOD business, making the acquisitions market for fringe films more competitive; and last night, I heard that a bidding battle had already broken out for the Steve McQueen-directed Shame,  which should be sold by the time it screens Sunday. Fox Searchlight is the favorite, Sony Pictures Classics is in the mix and I’ve heard that The Weinstein Company is hovering. Bidding began right after its Telluride screening, and the mid-six figures thrown around yesterday will probably go higher. That’s huge, considering the movie is an unabashed NC-17, McQueen has final cut, and the sex-obsessed protagonist is unlikable. Oh, yeah, and the sellers want it released this year for Oscar consideration to capitalize on Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan’s Oscar-caliber performances.

Does this mean we’re in for a drunken buying frenzy? Hardly, buyers tell me. They are eager to see the films, but say there’s no title here that’s going to guarantee somebody will overpay. They are also mindful that many of last year’s deals turned out to be box office busts. More deals will be made than … Read More »

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Hurricane Irene: Worst Movie Weekend Of 2011? ‘The Help’ #1 Again, ‘Colombiana’ #2, ‘Afraid Of The Dark’ #3, ‘Our Idiot Brother’ #6

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: This weekend’s numbers bounced around, especially after Rentrak, the box office reporting service, sent out the following advisory: “We wanted to make you aware that a possible 1,000 theatres could be affected by the weather on the East Coast. We’ve been hearing about closures at many theatres and wanted to advise you that both Saturday and Sunday grosses will be affected.” This is turning into the worst moviegoing weekend of 2011, in a race with only Super Bowl weekend, because of the expected miniscule $80M expected for total North American box office grosses. Theater chains like AMC, Regal, and Clearview Cinemas were closing, location counts were dropping, and major releases were finding cover. Hurricane Irene came ashore along the Atlantic Seaboard on Saturday starting in North Carolina and heading due north. Mass transit was suspended in many areas while heavy rains and high winds pounded the region, causing one studio exec to complain to me, ”Business is in the crapper right now. Any way you slice it business is getting creamed this weekend.” The storm, at one point bigger than the size of Europe, created a state of emergency up the East Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts and will depress box office by 10%, 20%, or more. Considering that this weekend’s 3 major opening movies were only expected to debut modestly even in fair weather, studios and distributors have a Mother Nature excuse when their films underperform at the North American box office. So I can’t humiliate them for not hitting double digits. Drats!)

1. DreamWorks/Disney’s The Help is a lock again for #1 with $4.4M Friday and $5.9M Saturday for a $14.3M weekend as the bestselling book-turned-pic enters its 3.5th week into 2,778 originally booked theaters. The cume is estimated at $96.6M and should pass the $100M plateau mid-week.

2. Sony Pictures/TriStar’s Luc Besson-produced and co-written PG-13 actioner Colombiana starring Zoe Saldana as the female assassin. It did the best of the newcomers opening to $3.7M Friday and also $3.7M Saturday to a $10.3M weekend with an original booking into 2,614 theaters. It earned an ‘A-’ CinemaScore from audiences. “Given the devastating weather system on the East Coast, the film performed better than expected and is off to a solid start and should hold well for the coming holiday weekend and into the Fall,” the studio said. Sony Pictures did a distribution deal for Colombiana which was fully financed by EuropaCorp and partners TF1 Films Production, Grive Productions with the participation of Canal+ and Cinecinema. They also put up the P&A for this title. For the media and promo campaign, Sony tied into the revenge theme of the movie with custom branded promotions and tie-ins with outlets like BET where there was “back to payback” stunt. The studio placed sneak peaks of the film in programming blocks where the cable channel was broadcasting revenge-oriented titles like Romeo Must Die and A Man Apart. Zoe Saldana shot custom interstitials. On channels like G4, a sweepstakes gave the winner time with Zoe’s trainer and to remake a scene from the film. Activities also specifically targeted urban audiences and Spanish language press. TriStar Pictures and Stage 6 Films present a coproduction EuropaCorp. Directed by Olivier Megaton, Colombiana gave writing credits to Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen, and produced by Luc Besson and Ariel Zeitoun.

3. FilmDistrict’s Guillermo del Toro-written and co-produced haunted house movie Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce was originally booked into 2,760 theaters. It debuted with $3.6M Friday and $2.9M Saturday and will make $8.6M this weekend. It earned an unfortunate ‘C-’ CinemaScore from audiences. “All things considered, not a bad Saturday and ultimately the weekend total was good despite the hurricane,” said FilmDistrict’s Bob Berney. ”Our key large urban East Coast markets were really killed.” Females under 25 responded strongest to Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark and in markets with large Latino populations. Berney has known Guillermo since distributing his Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth at Picturehouse. that’s also where Berney released The Orphanage which del Toro exec-produced. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark had been in the works for some time ever since del Toro made Mimic for the original Miramax. Guillermo based the new movie on a 1973 TV pic that had “scared the crap” out of him as a kid in Mexico. Del Toro chose director Troy Nixey from his work in comic books and a short film that Guillermo really responded to. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark was shot while Guillermo was in New Zealand preparing The Hobbit (remember that?) and would fly over to Melbourne where Nixey was shooting and remained very involved in the $28M production. After Disney sold Miramax to the Colony Capital/Ron Tutor group, FilmDistrict acquired Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark around Sundance this year. It was the closing night pic at the LA Film Festival and put together a Comic-Con panel with del Toro and Guy Pearce. Attendees called it the most highbrow discussion of the Con steeped in both film history and profanity. Guillermo has a “Presents” credit on the film and his pedigree has been one of the key marketing points of the film. “Jeanne and I were really happy to be working with Guillermo again,” Berney emailed me. “He really is the ’hardest working man in show business’ and the most generous and nicest guy as well. Not to mention that he holds the record for ‘F bombs’ at Q&As and panels around the world.”

4. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Fox) Week 4 [3,374? Theaters]
Friday $2.6M, Saturday $3.6M, Weekend $8.6M, Cume $148.4M

5. Spy Kids 4D (Dimension/Weinstein Co) Week 2 (3,305? Theaters)
Friday $1.5M, Saturday $2.5M, Weekend $5.7M (-51%), Cume $21.7M

6. The Weinstein Co’s not-so-raunchy R-rated comedy Our Idiot Brother showcasing Paul Rudd surrounded by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer originally booked into 2,555 theaters. It opened to $2.3M and $2.5M Saturday for a $5.7M weekend. It earned a disappointing ‘C+’ CinemaScores from audiences. This film was acquired by TWC and Ron Burkle’s YUK Films at the Sundance Film Festival for $6 million in exchange for U.S., Germany, France, Japan, and Benelux rights. Alliance has Canada via their recent acquisition of Maple Films. Directed by Jesse Peretz from a script he wrote with his sister Evgenia, he reached out to producer Anthony Bregman (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) who in turn enlisted producer Peter Saraf (Little Miss Sunshine) and they put the whole deal together in a few weeks. TWC’s marketing campaign involved not only the traditional media buys but a lot of extras on the Internet as well — like the Funny Or Die video with Harvey Weinstein and Paul Rudd. Rudd went on MLB.com talking sports. There also was a ’Search for Willie Nelson’ (the dog’s name in the film) viral campaign. And an Idiot Photo Booth social campaign. Our Idiot Brother gave writing credits to Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall and producing credits to Stefanie Azpiazu, Caroline Jaczko, Aleen Keshishian, Anthony Bregman, Peter Saraf, and Marc Turtletaub. Read More »

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Luc Besson’s ‘The Lady’: The Teaser Poster

By | Monday August 22, 2011 @ 3:51pm PDT
Mike Fleming

When Luc Besson shot The Lady, he and his backers did their best to pretend it was not about Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader who spent 15 years under house arrest because of her relentless nonviolent campaign for democracy. They kept it under wraps because they didn’t want to jeopardize the chance she might be freed, and because they might have had problems during the shoot in Thailand. She was freed last November. The film is a real departure for Besson, who is best known for fast-moving action films from Taken to Colombiana. He is unveiling the film at the Toronto Film Festival in a World Premiere on September 12. They’ve given Deadline an exclusive look at the teaser one-sheet. The one on the left is Michelle Yeoh, who plays Aung San Suu Kyi in the film. Both of them were designed by Shepard Fairey.

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OOO-LA-LA: Why French Directors Are Suddenly So Hot In Hollywood

The current wave of French directors making Hollywood films seems to have taken Jean-Luc Godard’s advice (“All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl”), amped it up with a healthy dash of special effects or 3D and taken it to the bank.

Louis Leterrier, director of The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans, will in January be making Summit’s movie about magicians who rob banks during performances Now You See Me, with Star Trek writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci producing. Fred Cavayé, director of the original French version of the Russell Crowe-thriller The Next Three Days, is in talks with studios to remake his latest, Point Blank.

“I grew up watching American movies, so my lexicon is American directors like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas,” Leterrier said. “These movies seeped into my artistic DNA. At the same time, because Paris is the capital of world cinema, I was also watching French films, German cinema or kung fu movies from Hong Kong. What makes me and other French directors different from Americans is that we were feeding ourselves from other cultures.”

The communication revolution and modern travel realities are making it easier for French helmers to cross over to Hollywood. Today an agent in Beverly Hills can watch something online and make contact pretty within hours. “There’s a fluid traffic in information,” says Ron Halpern, executive vice-president of international production at Studio Canal. “The world has gotten smaller. The speed of communication means that foreign directors are on people’s radars much quicker. And when a studio is looking for something fresh and interesting, a foreign eye can often bring something.” Read More »

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Ben Affleck To Turn French-Flavored Harlan Coben Novel ‘Tell No One’ Into Feature

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Harlan Coben, one of the biggest-selling mystery writers in America, is finally in line to have one of his books made into a major Hollywood film. And all he had to do was make a detour through France.

Warner Bros and Universal Pictures have optioned rights to Coben’s thriller Tell No One. Ben Affleck is attached to direct, and the script will be written by Chris Terrio. Terrio scripted Argo, the film Affleck is preparing to direct next for Warner Bros. Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will be the producers. The studios will co-develop the picture, with Warner Bros releasing domestically and Universal Pictures International launching it overseas. The deal involves Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, and that’s where the French connection comes in. The new project is basically a remake of the French film adaptation of Coben’s book, which was directed by Guillaume Canet.

Coben originally set up his book at Sony Pictures in 2002. The studio hired Star Trek scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, no less. Coben has a page-turning writing style, but his mysteries aren’t seamless screen transitions. It never quite came together and Sony let it go. Canet then got involved, figured out how to make the premise work, set it up at EuropaCorp and turned it into French film. The plot involves a pediatrician who is out one night frolicking by a lake with his wife when she suddenly vanishes and he is severely beaten when he tries to find her. When she turns up murdered, he is prime suspect. That’s until she’s declared a victim of a caught serial killer. Years later, bodies turn up in the same spot and the nightmare is repeated, the pediatrician again under suspicion. Right around that time, he’s given evidence that his wife wasn’t dead at all. Canet managed to make all of that work, anchored by the fact the protagonist never got over the death of his wife. Sarah Schechter and Greg Silverman are running the project for Warner Bros, and Adam Yoelin is steering it for Kennedy/Marshall. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Colombiana’

Mike Fleming

Sony Pictures has issued a trailer for Colombiana, which stars Avatar’s Zoe Saldana as a stone-cold assassin. It’s directed by Olivier Megaton, whom Deadline was the first to tell you would be directing Liam Neeson in Taken 2. The pic is written by the Taken team of Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.

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‘Unknown’ Helmer Jaume Collet-Serra Forms Ombra Films To Tap Emerging Spanish Talent

By | Monday May 2, 2011 @ 9:21am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra and Juan Sola have formed Ombra Films. Funded by StudioCanal, Ombra will generate low-budget English-language horror, thriller and fantasy films made by emerging Spanish filmmakers. They’ve also got their first project. Mindscape is a psychological thriller scripted by Guy Holmes about a man with the ability to enter people’s memories. His assignment: to figure out if a 16-year-old girl is a psychopath or a victim of trauma, or both. The pic will be directed by Jorge Dorado, a successful commercials director in Spain. Ombra will produce with StudioCanal and Peter Safran (Buried). The Barcelona-born Collet-Serra, who got his break after moving to Los Angeles at 18 and first found success shooting commercials, wants to help others make the transition and take advantage of an opportunity.

“We’ve seen how many talented directors are coming out of Spain, but there hasn’t really been a platform for them to find work in films,” Sola told me. “They look up to Jaume as a guy they want to become and we thought, how about a company that creates a bridge between Spain and the U.S., similar to what Luc Besson provided in France? Already, we are being bombarded, and we feel directors will find Ombra a fantastic platform. Jaume loves mentoring new talent.”

Ombra might get involved in projects for Collet-Serra to direct, but that’s not the priority. Collett-Sera is currently in preproduction on Red Circle for Arthur Sarkissian Productions, Working … Read More »

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Cinemax Greenlights ‘Transporter’ Series Executive Produced by Luc Besson

By | Thursday March 31, 2011 @ 10:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Cinemax is teaming with Luc Besson for a TV series based on his popular Transporter film franchise. After lengthy negotiations, HBO’s sibling pay-cable channel has committed to 12 episodes of  the action drama, produced by French company Atlantique and executive produced by Besson. This is the  second series order under Cinemax’s current push in original scripted fare. Last month, the network partnered with British satcaster Sky for another action series, the 10-part Strike Back.

Transporter, the series, will center on professional transporter Frank Martin, played in the movies by Jason Statham. Operating in a seedy underworld of dangerous criminals and desperate players, Martin can always be counted on to get the job done — discreetly. He has three rules: Never change the deal, no names and never open the package.

Transporter, which has also secured broadcasters in France (M6) and Germany (RTL) will begin production this summer in Europe and Canada and will be presented at the upcoming MIPTV market. According to Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp., the budget for the series is $48 million. Atlantique’s parent company Lagardere Entertainment is fully-financing the show, having licensed The Transporter from EuropaCorp. In addition to Besson, the series is being executive produced by Klaus Zimmermann and Fred Fuchs.

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UPDATE: Liam Neeson Now Ready For ‘Taken 2′ Encore

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Liam Neeson and Luc Besson have come to a meeting of the minds and they have worked out the scheduling snafu that made him iffy for Taken 2. Neeson’s reps at CAA are now closing the deal for Neeson to reprise what has become a signature role. Production is now being eyed for year end or beginning of 2012. Neeson will stick to his plan to take the rest of the year off, after completing the Clash of the Titans sequel he’s shooting in London. He has been working almost nonstop, wrapping The Grey for Joe Carnahan and Battleship for Peter Berg.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: A fascinating drama has been playing out over the past few weeks on Taken 2, the sequel to the surprise global hit film hatched by Luc Besson that reinvigorated Liam Neeson. I’m told Besson has teamed on a script with Robert Mark Kamen, and that he’s in talks with his Transporter 3 director Olivier Megaton to direct the sequel. But he has been dealing with a huge problem: Neeson has all but withdrawn from reprising his role as Bryan Mills, the retired government operative who in the 2008 original decimated the Paris underworld to free his kidnapped daughter. The reason isn’t money, but rather scheduling: Besson wants to shoot it this year and Neeson wants to take time off. Continuing without Neeson is hard to imagine, but I’ve heard Besson has gone as far … Read More »

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Peter Stormare Is Crooked Lawman in ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’

Mike Fleming

Peter Stormare has joined Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, and Famke Janssen to star in Paramount/MGM’s Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters. He plays the villainous town sheriff ‘Berringer’.  Stormare recently wrapped the Luc Besson produced feature film Lock Out for Sony. Stormare also stars with Keanu Reeves and Vera Farmiga in Henry’s Crime, and opposite Mel Gibson in How I Spent My Summer Vacation, and in Ed Gass-Donnelly’s Small Town Murder Songs. He’s repped by ICM and The Collective. Stormare also recently had a memorable turn in a Super Bowl ad for Budweiser. It might have been the game’s best commercial, behind Volkswagen’s pint-sized Darth Vader. See below:


Budweiser – Wild West / Peter Stormare – (2011)

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Luc Besson Filming ‘The Lady’ In Secret

By | Friday January 7, 2011 @ 1:31am PST

The French director, best-known for his kick-ass action movies, has resumed filming on The Lady, his biopic of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Paris. But Besson is determined to keep filming under wraps because of the pic’s delicate political situation. Michelle Yeoh, who co-starred in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, stars as Suu Kyi, the reluctant politician who spent almost 15 years under house arrest in Burma until November. Besson and the producers are keeping quiet about the film because they don’t want to make Suu Kyi’s position any worse: the academic-turned-politician could still be re-arrested any moment. Still, it’s hard for Besson and his crew to keep secret filming in Oxford, England before Christmas after spending 6 weeks on location in Bangkok, Thailand. In fact, they were filming in Bangkok on the day of Suu Kyi’s release from prison.

The Lady (as Suu Kyi is called in Burma because the military junta was so determined to wipe Suu Kyi from people’s minds, they still aren’t allowed to use her real name there) focuses on the heartrending choice she had to make about whether to return to England and nurse her husband, played by David Thewlis, who was dying of cancer, or to carry on fighting for democracy in Burma. Burma is controlled by a military junta paranoid about her popular support. That’s why they first arrested her in 1989. She then spent most of the next 21 years as a prisoner … Read More »

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FilmDistrict Nabs EuropaCorp Pic ‘Lockout’

By | Sunday November 7, 2010 @ 3:00pm PST
Mike Fleming

NEW YORK, November 7, 2010 – FilmDistrict, the recently announced company founded by Graham King, Tim Headington and Peter Schlessel, has acquired all US rights to EuropaCorp’s sci-fi action adventure film, starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace. James Mather and Stephen St. Leger will direct LOCKOUT from their script co-written with Luc Besson, who also serves as the producer of the film. Peter Stormare and Tom Hollander co-star.

Set in the near future, LOCKOUT follows a falsely convicted ex-government agent (Pearce), whose one chance at obtaining freedom lies in the dangerous mission of rescuing the President’s daughter (Grace) from rioting convicts at an outer space maximum security prison.

“EuropaCorp is one of the most dynamic production companies with a great track record of delivering high octane product,” says Peter Schlessel, CEO of FilmDistrict. “They make bold commercial movies which fit perfectly with FilmDistrict’s mandate to release quality films in wide distribution.”

“Luc and I, and everyone at EuropaCorp are thrilled there is a new and exciting distribution company in the US. We have great respect for Peter and the team, and this deal is about friendship and creativity,” says Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, co-founder of EuropaCorp. “We are proud and excited to be a part of this new adventure, and we plan to deliver a unique film. We are looking forward to working with Peter, Bob and everyone at FilmDistrict. It will be fun.”

“Luc and Pierre-Ange are creating a highly entertaining sci-fi film with classic action sequences, a gripping story and

Read More »

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